Serum Levels of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Basic Fibroblastic Growth Factor in Children with Hemangiomas and Vascular Malformations—Preliminary Report


  • Results of the above study were presented during the II World Congress of Pediatric Surgeons in Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 2007.

Address correspondence to Przemyslaw Przewratil, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Pediatric Surgery & Oncology, University Hospital No. 4, Medical University of Lodz, Sporna Str 36/50, 91-738 Lodz, Poland, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Impaired balance between proangiogenic and antiangiogenic factors has been implicated in the development of hemangiomas. Elevated vascular endothelial growth factor serum levels and basic fibroblastic growth factor urine levels in patients with proliferating hemangiomas were reported. However, whether these growth factors can be used for the differential diagnosis of vascular anomalies or assessment of the clinical course of hemangiomas has yet to be determined. We report here our preliminary results of serum vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblastic growth factor levels as an aid in the diagnosis of hemangiomas and in the follow up of patients with this lesion. Twenty two children with infantile hemangioma (13 with proliferating hemangiomas, nine with involuting lesions), five children with vascular malformations, and 25 healthy children study group. Vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblastic growth factor serum levels were analyzed by an ELISA assay. The serum vascular endothelial growth factor concentrations in children with proliferating hemangiomas were significantly higher than in patients with involuting hemangiomas, vascular malformations and healthy patients. The serum basic fibroblastic growth factor concentrations were low and similar in all patients with no statistical correlation between study groups. We concluded that (i) ELISA can easily determine vascular endothelial growth factor concentrations in different phases of hemangioma growth and help distinguishing them from vascular malformations. (ii) A potential role for vascular endothelial growth factor in the pathophysiology of hemangiomas is probable.