Vol 83, No 7 (2012)

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Nerve growth factor as a biomarker in the diagnosis and treatment of overactive bladder (OAB)

Katarzyna Jankiewicz, Beata Kulik-Rechberger, Łukasz Nowakowski, Tomasz Rechberger
Ginekol Pol 2012;83(7).


Nerve growth factor is a complex regulator of neural plasticity along the micturition pathways. The aim of this review is to summarize the current evidence for a role of NGF in urinary bladder function both in experimental and clinical settings. There is bulk of strong evidence that experimental administration of NGF elicits the symptoms of increased sensation, urgency, and bladder hyperreflexia which strongly resemble overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) and interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS). Therefore in human studies there are attempts to employ urinary NGF levels as a diagnostic marker in various forms of OAB and IC/PBS. It has been shown that urinary NGF levels are correlated with severity of OAB symptoms and in patients successfully treated with antimuscarinics agents or detrusor botulinum toxin injection, urinary NGF levels decrease significantly in association with reduction of urgency severity.

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