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Regauer, S; Gamper, M; Fehr, MK; Viereck, V.
Sensory Hyperinnervation Distinguishes Bladder Pain Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis from Overactive Bladder Syndrome.
J Urol. 2017; 197(1):159-166
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Authors Med Uni Graz:
Regauer Sigrid

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Pain is the key symptom that distinguishes bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis from overactive bladder syndrome but overlap occurs. To find a discriminating marker for these bladder diseases we examined sensory hyperinnervation and neurotrophin receptor expression in bladder biopsies as well as nerve growth factor levels in urine. Bladder biopsies from patients with bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis, including 12 with and 19 without Hunner lesions, 13 with overactive bladder syndrome and 12 healthy controls, were analyzed by immunohistochemistry with antibodies to the nerve cell marker PGP9.5 (neuron-specific protein gene product 9.5), p75NTR (p75 neurotrophin receptor), the B-lymphocyte marker CD20 and mast cell tryptase. Urinary nerve growth factor was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subepithelial sensory hyperinnervation on PGP9.5 staining had 97% sensitivity and 76% specificity, increased lymphocytic infiltration had 90% sensitivity and 80% specificity, and urothelial defects had 97% sensitivity and 76% specificity to distinguish bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis with and without Hunner lesions from overactive bladder syndrome and healthy controls. Increased sensory innervation was associated with submucosal mast cell localization. Staining of p75NTR in basal urothelial cells was indicative of bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. Urinary nerve growth factor levels were below the detection level and did not differentiate bladder diseases from healthy controls. Sensory hyperinnervation and basal urothelial p75NTR staining together with assessment of inflammatory lymphocytes and urothelial integrity allow for the differentiation of bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis and overactive bladder syndrome even in the absence of Hunner lesions. Furthermore, these histopathological criteria enable the identification of early disease stages or oligosymptomatic/asymptomatic cases and may permit timely treatment to prevent disease progress. Copyright © 2017 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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urinary bladder
nerve growth factor
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