Biomarkers for lower urinary tract dysfunction


Correspondence: Joon Chul Kim M.D., Ph.D., Department of Urology, Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, 2 Sosa-dong, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon City, Kyunggi-do 420-717, Korea. Email:


Lower urinary tract dysfunction is highly prevalent, but has relatively low persistence and compliance with therapy because of poor efficacy. Although urodynamic study is the gold standard for detailed evaluation of lower urinary tract dysfunction, urodynamic study has limitations as a biomarker, such as invasiveness and a lack of reproducibility of symptoms. Thus, many investigations about new biomarkers for lower urinary tract dysfunction have been carried out and reported. For imaging biomarkers, bladder and prostate parameters assessed by ultrasonography have been used to evaluate lower urinary tract dysfunction. For urinary biomarkers, neurotrophins, such as nerve growth factor and brain derived neurotrophics factor, prostaglandins and cytokines, have been analyzed and evaluated. Among these, nerve growth factor is considered one of the key factors in the pathophysiology of lower urinary tract dysfunction, and is researched in various ways. Serum markers have suggested that C-reactive protein and sex hormones have a relationship with lower urinary tract dysfunction. The possibility of genetic biomarkers in lower urinary tract dysfunction has also been raised. Nevertheless, as yet these biomarkers have not shown enough evidence to reflect lower urinary tract dysfunction and require further investigation. This review will discuss promising and potential biomarkers in lower urinary tract dysfunction to date.