Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44687. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044687. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Increased urine and serum nerve growth factor levels in interstitial cystitis suggest chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of disease.

Author information

Department of Urology, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital and Tzu Chi University, Hualin, Taiwan.



Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is considered a bladder disorder due to localized chronic inflammation. This study investigated the nerve growth factor (NGF) levels in serum and urine in patients with IC/BPS.


Thirty patients with IC/BPS and 28 normal subjects without lower urinary tract symptoms were recruited from an outpatient clinic. IC/BPS was diagnosed by frequency, bladder pain, and the presence of glomerulations during cystoscopic hydrodistention. Serum and urine were collected before any treatment was given. Serum NGF and urinary NGF/Cr levels were compared between IC/BPS and the controls.


Urinary NGF levels were significantly higher in patients with IC/PBS (26.3±11.2 pg/ml) than in controls (1.40±0.63 pg) (p = 0.014). After normalization, the urinary NGF/Cr levels were significantly greater in IC/BPS (0.69±0.38 pg/mg) than controls (0.20±0.01, p = 0.011). Relative to the levels in control subjects (1.90±0.38 pg/mL), the mean serum NGF levels were higher in patients IC/BPS patients (3.48±0.55 pg/mL) (p = 0.015). No significant correlation was found between the serum and urinary NGF levels in IC/BPS patients. However, the clinical characteristics and medical co-morbidities did not show significant difference between IC/BPS patients with a higher and lower serum NGF level.


Increased urinary NGF levels in IC/BPS patients suggest that chronic inflammation is involved in this bladder disorder. Increased circulating serum NGF levels were noted in over half of patients with IC/BPS, however, the urinary and serum NGF were not inter-correlated and elevated serum NGF did not relate with clinical features.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center