Vol 88, No 10 (2017)
Review paper
Published online: 2017-10-31

open access

Page views 2316
Article views/downloads 2167
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

Novel biomarkers of overactive bladder syndrome

Andrzej Franciszek Wróbel1, Tomasz Kluz2, Grzegorz Surkont3, Edyta Wlaźlak3, Paweł Skorupski1, Aleksandra Filipczak1, Tomasz Rechberger1
Pubmed: 29192418
Ginekol Pol 2017;88(10):568-573.


The social aspect of overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) and the lack of objective diagnostic methods for this syndrome have spurred research into its potential biomarkers which can constitute useful diagnostic tools, while also allowing the evaluation of the intensity of clinical symptoms and the efficacy of implemented pharmacotherapy in OAB patients. Due to the complex etiopathogenesis of this syndrome, the researchers are seeking biomarkers connected with inflammation or nerve growth. The aim of this review was to analyse the latest literature data regarding potential biomarkers in OAB. The most promising opportunities are connected with the diagnostic use of the nerve growth factor (NGF), the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), C-reactive protein (CRP), prostaglandins and cytokines. Despite the most promising results to date having been obtained with regards to neurotrophic factors, it seems that, at the moment, none of these meets the criteria for becoming an isolated OAB marker. It is also suggested that the combined use of several biomarkers will facilitate obtaining the appropriate level of specificity and selectivity to allow their use in clinical practice.

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file


  1. Merighi A, Salio C, Ghirri A, et al. BDNF as a pain modulator. Prog Neurobiol. 2008; 85(3): 297–317.
  2. Obata K, Noguchi K. BDNF in sensory neurons and chronic pain. Neurosci Res. 2006; 55(1): 1–10.
  4. Pinto R, Lopes T, Silva J, et al. Trigonal injection of botulinum toxin A in patients with refractory bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. Eur Urol. 2010; 58(3): 360–365.
  5. Tyagi P, Barclay D, Zamora R, et al. Urine cytokines suggest an inflammatory response in the overactive bladder: a pilot study. Int Urol Nephrol. 2010; 42(3): 629–635.
  6. Chuang YC, Tyagi V, Liu RT, et al. Urine and Serum C-Reactive Protein Levels as Potential Biomarkers of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms. Urol Sci. 2010; 21(3): 132–136.
  7. Hsiao SM, Lin HH, Kuo HC. The role of serum C-reactive protein in women with lower urinary tract symptoms. Int Urogynecol J. 2012; 23(7): 935–940.
  8. Liao CH, Chung SD, Kuo HC. Serum C-reactive protein levels are associated with residual urgency symptoms in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia after medical treatment. Urology. 2011; 78(6): 1373–1378.
  9. Kim JC, Park EY, Seo SIl, et al. Nerve growth factor and prostaglandins in the urine of female patients with overactive bladder. J Urol. 2006; 175(5): 1773–6; discussion 1776.
  10. Yokoyama O, Miwa Y, Oyama N, et al. Antimuscarinic drug inhibits detrusor overactivity induced by topical application of prostaglandin E2 to the urethra with a decrease in urethral pressure. J Urol. 2007; 178(5): 2208–2212.
  11. Liu HT, Tyagi P, Chancellor MB, et al. Urinary nerve growth factor but not prostaglandin E2 increases in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and detrusor overactivity. BJU Int. 2010; 106(11): 1681–1685.
  12. Andersson KE, Wein AJ. Pharmacology of the lower urinary tract: basis for current and future treatments of urinary incontinence. Pharmacol Rev. 2004; 56(4): 581–631.
  13. Silva-Ramos M, Silva I, Oliveira O, et al. Urinary ATP may be a dynamic biomarker of detrusor overactivity in women with overactive bladder syndrome. PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e64696.
  14. Cheng Y, Mansfield K, Allen W, et al. Correlation between cystometric volumes, ATP release and pH in women with overactive bladder versus controls. Neurourol Urod. 2013; 32(7): 969–973.
  15. Nishijima S, Sugaya K, Kadekawa K, et al. Comparison of the effect of anti-muscarinic agents on bladder activity, urinary ATP level, and autonomic nervous system in rats. Biomed Res. 2009; 30(2): 107–112.
  16. Lamb K, Gebhart GF, Bielefeldt K. Increased nerve growth factor expression triggers bladder overactivity. J Pain. 2004; 5(3): 150–156.
  17. Zvara P, Vizzard MA. Exogenous overexpression of nerve growth factor in the urinary bladder produces bladder overactivity and altered micturition circuitry in the lumbosacral spinal cord. BMC Physiol. 2007; 7: 9.
  18. Kim JC, Park EY, Seo SIl, et al. Nerve growth factor and prostaglandins in the urine of female patients with overactive bladder. J Urol. 2006; 175(5): 1773–6; discussion 1776.
  19. Yokoyama T, Kumon H, Nagai A. Correlation of urinary nerve growth factor level with pathogenesis of overactive bladder. Neurourol Urodyn. 2008; 27(5): 417–420.
  20. Liu HT, Chen CY, Kuo HC. Urinary nerve growth factor in women with overactive bladder syndrome. BJU Int. 2011; 107(5): 799–803.
  21. Chen CY, Kuo HC. Novel urinary biomarkers in the diagnosis and assessment of overactive bladder. Incontinence Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2009; 3: 20.
  22. Kuo HC, Liu HT, Chancellor MB, et al. Decrease of urinary nerve growth factor levels after antimuscarinic therapy in patients with overactive bladder. BJU Int. 2009; 103(12): 1668–1672.
  23. Hakenberg OW, Linne C, Manseck A, et al. Bladder wall thickness in normal adults and men with mild lower urinary tract symptoms and benign prostatic enlargement. Neurourol Urodyn. 2000; 19(5): 585–593, doi: 10.1002/1520-6777(2000)19:5<585::aid-nau5>3.0.co;2-u.
  24. Robinson D, Anders K, Cardozo L, et al. Can ultrasound replace ambulatory urodynamics when investigating women with irritative urinary symptoms? BJOG. 2002; 109(2): 145–148.
  25. Blatt AH, Titus J, Chan L. Ultrasound measurement of bladder wall thickness in the assessment of voiding dysfunction. J Urol. 2008; 179(6): 2275–8; discussion 2278.
  26. Rechberger T, Nowakowski Ł, Rechberger E, et al. Prevalence of common comorbidities among urogynaecological patients. Ginekol Pol. 2016; 87(5): 342–346.
  27. Panayi DC, Tekkis P, Fernando R, et al. Ultrasound measurement of bladder wall thickness is associated with the overactive bladder syndrome. Neurourol Urodyn. 2010; 29(7): 1295–1298.
  28. Serati M, Salvatore S, Cattoni E, et al. Ultrasound measurement of bladder wall thickness in different forms of detrusor overactivity. Int Urogynecol J. 2010; 21(11): 1405–1411.
  29. Latthe PM, Champaneria R, Khan KS. Systematic review of the accuracy of ultrasound as the method of measuring bladder wall thickness in the diagnosis of detrusor overactivity. Int Urogynecol J. 2010; 21(8): 1019–1024.
  30. Bright E, Oelke M, Tubaro A, et al. Ultrasound estimated bladder weight and measurement of bladder wall thickness--useful noninvasive methods for assessing the lower urinary tract? J Urol. 2010; 184(5): 1847–1854.