WHAT'S KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT? AND WHAT DOES THE STUDY ADD?: The search for a biomarker in overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) is an emerging field of interest, as bladder dysfunction is a common complaint that causes significant morbidity. A biomarker may give us insight as a diagnostic tool, and also inform us about how severe the condition is, how it may progress and how it may best be treated. The protein of interest here is nerve growth factor (NGF) and it has been shown to be a dynamic molecule in the bladder of patients with OAB. Urinary levels have been seen to rise in patients with OAB and fall in those who respond to treatment. However, there have also been many studies that examine this trend in numerous other conditions, e.g. interstitial cystitis, bladder outflow obstruction, renal stone disease and patients with neurological impairment after stroke. As a result the specificity of this as a potential urinary biomarker for OAB is questioned. This is a review of published studies, which discusses the pros and cons of NGF as a potential urinary biomarker. The evidence is examined and the studies are summarised together in a Table. Questions remain about the reliability, practicality and specificity of NGF as a biomarker for OAB. These questions need to be addressed by further studies that could clarify the points raised.