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Papers of the Week

2020 Feb 03

Toxins (Basel)



Effect of Botulinum Toxin A on Bladder Pain-Molecular Evidence and Animal Studies.


Yeh T-C, Chen P-C, Su Y-R, Kuo H-C
Toxins (Basel). 2020 Feb 03; 12(2).
PMID: 32028597.


Botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) is a powerful neurotoxin with long-lasting activity that blocks muscle contractions. In addition to effects on neuromuscular junctions, BTX-A also plays a role in sensory feedback loops, suggesting the potentiality for pain relief. Although the only approved indications for BTX-A in the bladder are neurogenic detrusor overactivity and refractory overactive bladder, BTX-A injections to treat bladder pain refractory to conventional therapies are also recommended. The mechanism of BTX-A activity in bladder pain is complex, with several hypotheses proposed in recent studies. Here we comprehensively reviewed properties of BTX-A in peripheral afferent and efferent nerves, the inhibition of nociceptive neurotransmitter release, the reduction of stretch-related visceral pain, and its anti-inflammatory effects on the bladder urothelium. Studies have also revealed possible effects of BTX-A in the human brain. However, further basic and clinical studies are warranted to provide solid evidence-based support in using BTX-A to treat bladder pain.