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Nerve Growth Factor is a Biomarker Implicated in Diagnosis of IC/BPS

Chen W, Ye DY, Han DJ, Fu GQ, Zeng X, Lin W, Liang Y. Elevated level of nerve growth factor in the bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis: a meta-analysis. Springerplus. 2016 Jul 13;5(1):1072. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-2719-y. eCollection 2016.

Biomarkers for urinary disorders are a hot topic in terms of their potential to aid with diagnosis and to serve as a target for treatment. In particular, nerve growth factor (NGF) is a biomarker that in several recent studies has been associated with overactive bladder and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) in terms of diagnosis. However, results of these studies are sometimes inconsistent in terms of the link between NGF and IC/BPS, so this group of investigators conducted a meta-analysis (study of studies) pooling together results from all published original studies they could find on this topic. They included 10 studies involving 295 patients and 290 controls. Together, the findings confirmed that the level of NGF in the urine is elevated in IC/BPS patients. While further research on the link between NGF and IC/BPS is needed to better characterize its significance, this is believed to be the first comprehensive analysis of existing research on this topic.