To examine the relationship between the plasma levels of angiogenic growth factors and the severity of cyanosis, 80 patients with cyanotic heart disease (CHD) and 81 healthy controls were studied. Median age and mean arterial blood oxygen saturation respectively were 4.2 years and 81% in CHD subjects and 4.8 years and 98% in controls. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) were measured in plasma using enzyme-linked immunoassay. Plasma VEGF levels in controls depended negatively on age (p < 0.0001) until 3 months, when VEGF was no longer elevated. No such age dependence was found for HGF. Although VEGF levels did not differ between CHD and control subjects up to the age of 3 months, VEGF was significantly elevated in CHD patients older than 3 months compared to controls of similar age (149 ± 106 vs 65 ± 23 pg/ml, p < 0.0001). Moreover, the VEGF levels were negatively correlated with oxygen saturation (p = 0.03) and positively correlated with hemoglobin (p = 0.004) in CHD patients aged between 3 months and 10 years. Although the physiologic elevation of VEGF in the neonatal period decreases rapidly if oxygen saturation is normal, VEGF elevations persist if systemic hypoxia is present.
- Hepatocyte growth factor
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine