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Nerve Growth Factor and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor as Potential Biomarkers of Mirabegron Efficacy in Patients with Overactive Bladder Syndrome

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Overactive Bladder Syndrome (OAB) significantly impacts quality of life, necessitating improved diagnostic tools and treatment monitoring. This study explores the potential of neurotrophins, nerve growth factor (NGF), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as urinary biomarkers in patients with OAB undergoing mirabegron therapy, a β3-adrenergic agonist. This investigation is aimed at providing insights into the potential of neurotrophins to enhance OAB diagnosis and assess treatment efficacy.

Materials and Methods

Urinary NGF and BDNF levels were measured in 15 healthy controls and 30 patients with OAB. Patients were treated with mirabegron 50 mg once daily. Urinary NGF and BDNF levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method and normalized by urinary creatinine levels (NGF/Cre and BDNF/Cre). The urinary NGF/Cre and BDNF/Cre levels were compared between controls and patients with OAB and subsequently at baseline and 3 months after mirabegron treatment. Treatment efficacy was assessed with the Indevus Urgency Severity Scale (IUSS) questionnaire.


Urinary NGF/Cre and BDNF/Cre levels were significantly higher in patients with OAB than in the controls (p < 0.001 and p = 0.03 respectively). Moreover, NGF/Cre and BDNF/Cre levels significantly decreased post-mirabegron treatment (p < 0.001 and p = 0.005 respectively). Patients with improvement of OAB symptoms after treatment showed lower levels of NGF/Cre at the 3-month evaluation than those with no improvement (p = 0.05).


Although both NGF/Cre and BDNF/Cre levels were significantly decreased after mirabegron treatment, only NGF/Cre levels were associated with treatment response.

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Data Availability

The research data are available upon request.



Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Body mass index




Detrusor overactivity


Indevus Urgency Severity Scale


Interquartile range


Lower urinary tract symptoms


Nerve growth factor


Overactive bladder


Standard deviation 


Urinary tract infection


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Authors and Affiliations



A.B.: conceptualization, methodology, formal analysis, investigation, data curation, resources, writing—original draft preparation, visualization; A.G.: formal analysis, data curation, writing—original draft preparation, visualization; D.R.: methodology, formal analysis, resources, writing—review and editing, supervision; A.M.: methodology, formal analysis, resources; E.D.: methodology, resources, writing—review and editing, supervision; P.B.: conceptualization, methodology, investigation, resources, writing—review and editing, visualization, supervision.

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Correspondence to Anastasia Beta.

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Beta, A., Giannouli, A., Rizos, D. et al. Nerve Growth Factor and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor as Potential Biomarkers of Mirabegron Efficacy in Patients with Overactive Bladder Syndrome. Int Urogynecol J (2024).

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