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Vol 12, No 1 (2006)
Research paper
Published online: 2006-03-27

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Usefulness of serum VEGF concentration measurement to estimate aortic aneurysm risk of rupture

Marek Kunecki, Marian Danilewicz, Agnieszka Nawrocka-Kunecka
Acta Angiologica 2006;12(1):7-15.


Background. Risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) rupture is difficult to estimate. Angiogenesis in aneurysm walls is an important morphologic finding. One of the most important factors stimulating angiogenesis is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
The aim of our study was to evaluate if the two values: VEGF expression in aortic wall tissues, and VEGF serum concentration correlate with clinical manifestations of aneurysms, and if these two values correlate with each other.
Material and methods. Aorta tissue samples were taken in the operating room from patients undergoing aorta reconstruction for aneurysms: electively (group I, n = 49), emergency (group II, n = 19) or because of aortoiliac occlusion (AIO) (n = 17). Control tissue was taken from healthy organ donors (n = 9). Blood samples were obtained from these patients before surgery. Control serum samples were taken from patients undergoing surgery because of hernias and varices. Expression of VEGF in tissue was measured with use of morphometric analysis in slides after immunohistochemistry with anti-VEGF antibodies. Vascular endothelial growth factor serum concentration was measured with the use of ELISA.
Results. The highest level of serum VEGF was observed in the symptomatic AAA group (mean value: 404.3 pg/ml; sv = 331.7). Electively operated AAA showed lower serum VEGF concentration (mean value = 285.3; sv = 300.9), AIO and control: 366.4 and 277.3 respectively. These differences were not significant. Strong correlation was observed between VEGF serum level and VEGF tissue expression. Significant differences were shown in VEGF positive cell numbers between all examined groups (mean cell number in AAA symptomatic = 140.9, elective AAA = 108.5, AIO = 51.4, control = 21.0).
Conclusions. There is strong correlation in VEGF tissue expression with clinical manifestation of AAA. Vascular endothelial growth factor serum concentration is not a good clinical marker to estimate the risk of rupture.

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