Urinary nerve growth factor level is correlated with the severity of neurological impairment in patients with cerebrovascular accident


Hann-Chorng Kuo, Department of Urology, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, 707, Section 3, Chung Yang Road, Hualien, Taiwan.
e-mail: hck@tzuchi.com.tw



To measure urinary nerve growth factor (uNGF, essential in nerve growth and regeneration) levels in patients with a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), to determine whether uNGF could be a biomarker for predicting the neurological deficits in CVA, as the level of uNGF increases in patients with idiopathic detrusor overactivity (DO) and incontinence.


uNGF levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in normal subjects and patients with CVA and different severities of neurological impairment. Total uNGF levels were normalized to the concentration of urinary creatinine (uNGF/Cr).


The median (interquartile range) uNGF/Cr levels were significantly higher in patients, at 0.13 (0–1.04), than in normal subjects (undetectable). The uNGF/Cr levels correlated well with the severity of neurological impairment. Patients with none/minimal neurological impairment had no detectable uNGF/Cr level, like the controls. Patients with mild/moderate impairment had levels of 0.27 (0.09–0.8) and with severe impairment level of 1.53 (0.5–3.0) (both P < 0.001), significantly greater than that of none/minimal impairment or controls. However, uNGF/Cr levels were not correlated with age, location of CVA, multiplicity of CVA, duration of CVA, urodynamic findings or the presence of urge urinary incontinence.


The uNGF level is correlated with the severity of neurological impairment in patients with CVA but not with urge symptoms or urodynamic findings, suggesting elevated uNGF might be a result of the neurological lesion rather than lower urinary tract dysfunction in CVA.