Background Airway angiogenesis may be an important part of structural remodelling in the pathogenesis of asthma. The development of asthma is frequently preceded by rhinitis.
Objective We sought to determine whether the levels of angiogenesis-related factors are elevated in airways of patients with rhinitis or controlled asthma.
Methods We analysed the induced sputum of 18 rhinitis patients, 16 asthmatic patients, and 15 healthy controls. The concentrations of angiogenin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), IL-8, fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and TNF-α were measured by cytometric bead arrays.
Results We found significantly increased angiogenin and VEGF concentrations in the induced sputum supernatant of both rhinitis and asthma patients compared with that of the healthy control group (P0.0005). With the exception of TNF-α, there was no difference in the other angiogenic factors; TNF-α levels were higher in the rhinitis group than in the control group (P=0.02).
Conclusion These in vivo results suggest increased airway angiogenesis in patients with rhinitis without asthma as well as in corticosteroid-treated and well-controlled asthma patients.