Biomarkers in overactive bladder: Where do we stand today?

Biomarkers are measurable characteristics that reflect physiological and pathogenic processes, or pharmacological responses to therapeutic interventions.1 In overactive bladder (OAB), biomarkers can be urine, blood or genetic assays, urodynamic and imaging tests, able to determine the occurrence of detrusor overactivity (DO) during bladder filling, and questionnaires.

Whatever the concept one has of a biological marker, the ideal test to be used as a biomarker in OAB is yet to be identified. Nevertheless, it is easy to agree upon several features, which lacking, will downbeat the enthusiasm for the test. Required characteristics include: to be non-invasive, to be measured by a simple and reproducible method in easily collectable biological samples, to really help in establishing the diagnosis, prognosis and recurrence of OAB symptoms. Not irrelevant, the routine use of the biomarker should influence the outcome of OAB treatment and be cost effective.

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