Clinical implication of VEGF serum levels in cirrhotic patients with or without portal hypertension

Nimer Assy, M. Paizi, D. Gaitini, Y. Baruch, G. Spira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


AIM: To determine whether serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels correlates with the severity of liver cirrhosis and whether portal hypertension impacts on the expression of serum VEGF protein. METHODS: Fifty-three patients (mean age 56 ± 2 years) with HCV (n = 26), HBV (n = 13), and cryptogenic liver cirrhosis (n = 14) (Child-Pugh's class A: 24, B: 19 and C: 12) and normal renal function constitute the patient population, who were all diagnosed by clinical, histological and radiological findings. Six healthy people and six patients with acute hepatitis served as controls. Severity of liver disease was evaluated by the CP score. Serum levels of IGF-1 and VEGF were measured by radioimmunoassay and ELISA, respectively. Portal hypertension was assessed using pulsed Doppler ultrasound. RESULTS: The mean serum VEGF levels in all cirrhotic patients (73 ± 58) were significantly lower than those of healthy controls (360 ± 217, P<0.01) and acute hepatitis (1123 ± 1261, P < 0.01) respectively. No significant difference in median serum VEGF levels were noted among the different Child-Pugh's classes (class A: median, 49.4 ng/L, range, 21 ng/L - 260 ng/L, Class B: median 59.9 ng/L; range 21 - 92, and Class C: median 69; range 20 ng/L - 247 ng/L). A significant correlation was noted between serum VEGF and two accurate parameters of portal hypertension: portal blood flow velocity (r = 0.6) and spleen size (r = 0.55). No correlation was found between VEGF serum levels and serum albumin, IGF-1, platelets count and aminotrasnferases (r = 0.2, r = 0.1, r = 0.2 and r = 0.2, respectively). CONCLUSION: Circulating VEGF level in patients with liver cirrhosis could not serve as an indicator of the progression of chronic liver disease but rather, they may reflect increased portal hypertension or decreased hepatic regenerative activity or the combination of both. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-300
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by a grant from the regional council of the Reunion Island.


  • Angiogenesis
  • Duplex sonography
  • Growth factors
  • Hypertension portal
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver regeneration
  • VEGF


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