Minimally invasive colon resection for malignant colonic conditions is associated with a transient early increase in plasma sVEGFR1 and a decrease in sVEGFR2 levels after surgery
- First Online:
Plasma VEGF levels increase after minimally invasive colorectal resection (MICR) and remain elevated for 2–4 weeks. VEGF induces physiologic and pathologic angiogenesis by binding to endothelial cell (EC) bound VEGF-Receptor-1 (VEGFR1) and VEGFR2. Soluble forms of these receptors sequester plasma VEGF, decreasing the amount available to bind to EC-bound receptors. Ramifications of surgery-related plasma VEGF changes partially depend on plasma levels of sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2. This study assessed perioperative sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2 levels after MICR in patients with colorectal cancer.
Forty-five patients were studied; blood samples were taken from all patients preoperatively (preop) and on postoperative days (POD) 1 and 3; in most a fourth sample was drawn between POD 7–30. Late samples were bundled into two time points: POD 7–13 and POD 14–30. sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2 levels were measured via ELISA. sVEGFR2 data are reported as mean ± SD and were assessed with the paired samples t test. sVEGFR1 data were not normally distributed. They are reported as median and 95% confidence interval (CI) and were assessed with the Wilcoxon signed-Rank test (p < 0.05).
Preoperatively, the mean plasma sVEGFR2 level (7583.9 pg/ml) was greater than the sVEGFR1 result (98.3 pg/ml). Compared with preop levels, sVEGFR2 levels were significantly lower on POD 1 (6068.2 pg/ml, ±2034.5) and POD 3 (6227.6 pg/ml, ±2007.0), whereas sVEGFR1 levels were significantly greater on POD 1 (237.5 pg/ml; 95% CI, 89.6–103.5), POD 3 (200.2 pg/ml; 95% CI, 159–253), and POD 7−13 (102.9 pg/ml; 95% CI, 189.7–253). No differences were found on POD 7–13 for sVEGFR2 or POD 14–30 for either protein.
sVEGFR2 values decreased and sVEGFR1 levels increased early after MICR; sVEGFR2 changes dominate due to their much larger magnitude. The net result is less plasma VEGF bound by soluble receptors and more plasma VEGF available to bind to ECs early after surgery.