Background. It is known that levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in biological fluids increase with inflammation and vascular proliferation. Theraputic angiogenesis by injection of VEGF or genes encoding for it may be a promising strategy for treatment of critical limb ischemia. However growth factors are also implicated in the development of vascular disease by smooth muscle cell proliferation. Methods. We have previously shown VEGF levels to be increased in juvenile diabetic subjects with no clinical evidence of vascular disease. We have measured serum VEGF using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and cellular VEGF expression using flow cytometry in patients with critical limb ischemia prior to and 6 months postamputation to determine whether removal of the ischemic limb leads to changes in systemic endothelial cell function. Results. Baseline VEGF levels were significantly increased in the patient group compared to controls with levels returning to control levels at 6 months postsurgery. Monocyte and neutrophil VEGF expression was significantly reduced in the patient group. Platelet expression of VEGF was also reduced but this failed to reach statistical significance. Conclusions. The results suggest that it may be useful to determine the balance between VEGF production and cellular receptor expression prior to treatment.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|