International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 1561–1567 | Cite as

Urinary nerve growth factor correlates with the severity of urgency and pain

  • Sang Woon Kim
  • Young Jae Im
  • Ho Chul Choi
  • Hyo Jin Kang
  • Ji Yu Kim
  • Jang Hwan KimEmail author
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

Urinary nerve-growth-factor (NGF) level reflected the severity of urgency in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and pain in patients with Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC). The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of biomarkers, nerve growth factor (NGF), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) among disease groups sharing similar urinary symptoms and to elucidate which symptoms are related to individual biomarker levels.


We studied 83 patients with LUTS who visited our outpatient clinic from May 2011 to December 2012. On the basis of clinical symptoms and a 3-day voiding diary, patients were classified into three groups: those with frequency (n = 13), overactive bladder (OAB) (n = 35), and BPS/IC (n = 35). Patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or microscopic hematuria served as controls (n = 24). Storage symptoms were evaluated based on OAB symptom score (OAB-SS).


Mean patient age was 62.08 ± 11.47 (range, 23–84). Urinary NGF and creatinine-normalized NGF levels were significantly increased in those with OAB (201.90 and 4.08, respectively) and BPS/IC (173.71 and 2.72) compared with controls (77.77 and 1.29) and those with frequency (67.76 and 1.23). Neither value significantly differed between OAB and BPS/IC patients or between controls and frequency patients. Urinary PGE2 and creatinine-normalized PGE2 levels were not significantly different among groups. On linear regression analysis, urinary NGF levels were significantly correlated with urgency severity overall (R = 0.222) and also pain in BPS/IC patients (R = 0.409).


The levels of urinary NGF were elevated in patients with OAB and BPS/IC but not those with frequency and reflected the severity of urgency. In BPS/IC patients, urinary NGF increased with pain severity.


Nerve growth factor Overactive bladder PGE2 Urge incontinence 

Abbreviations & Acronyms


Nerve growth factor


Prostaglandin E2


Lower urinary tract symptoms


Overactive bladder


Overactive Bladder Symptom Score


Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis


Transient receptor potential vanilloid


Transient receptor potential melastatin type 8


Urinary incontinence



This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2011 (6-2011-0109).

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sang Woon Kim
    • 1
  • Young Jae Im
    • 1
  • Ho Chul Choi
    • 1
  • Hyo Jin Kang
    • 1
  • Ji Yu Kim
    • 1
  • Jang Hwan Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Urology, Urological Science InstituteYonsei University College of MedicineSeodaemun-guSouth Korea

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