VEGF plasma levels in nonruptured intracranial aneurysms
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Aneurysm growth appears to be associated with an increased risk of rupture. Therefore, it may be of interest to identify mechanisms contributing to aneurysm growth. Angiogenic factors, particularly vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), appear to play an important role in the pathogenesis and growth of cerebrovascular malformations. We aimed to study systemic VEGF levels as a potential systemic marker in patients with nonruptured intracranial aneurysms compared with healthy controls. Mean VEGF plasma concentrations were found to be increased in patients with nonruptured intracranial aneurysms compared with healthy controls (85.2 pg/ml versus 44.1 pg/ml). This difference did not reach significance in the analyzed study cohort (p=0.05) but only when the analysis was restricted to male patients (p=0.04). Female patients and controls demonstrated significantly increased VEGF plasma levels only on correlation with age but not with the presence of aneurysms. Neither the presence of multiple aneurysms nor aneurysm location were correlated with VEGF levels. Although overall VEGF plasma difference was not statistically significant, we found significantly increased levels in male patients. Furthermore, we identified a distinct group of female patients with intracranial aneurysms who presented excessively increased VEGF plasma levels to an amount that was not observed in the controls. Further studies may clarify the relationship of aneurysm growth and VEGF.
KeywordsIntracranial aneurysms Aneurysm growth VEGF Angiogenesis Growth factors
This study was supported by grants of the IFORES program of the University Clinic of Essen (107-02080/IFORES). We are grateful to Dr. Alexander Schramm for his contribution to statistical analyses.
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