Serum vascular endothelial growth factor as a biomarker for prognosis of minor ischemic stroke

Yan Zhang, Tong Ma, Haijie Hu, Jiakai Wang, Shanshan Zhou
Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 2020 July 1, 196: 106060
Objectives Although vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a well-known molecule involved with neuronal survival and angiogenesis. there are no prospective studies directed at evaluating a potential association between serum VEGF and minor ischemic stroke. The goal of this study was to investigate the utility of serum VEGF as an index for assessing the 90-day prognosis of minor ischemic stroke patients. Methods Records of acute minor stroke patients (N = 225) and those of age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects (N = 225) were prospectively reviewed. Clinical, laboratory, and imaging data were evaluated. Serum samples collected from these stroke patients immediately after admission were assessed for VEGF levels and compared with those of control subjects. Results Serum VEGF levels were significantly increased in stroke patients (40.01 ± 16.48 pg/mL) as compared with those of controls (32.98 ± 10.35 pg/mL). No statistically significant differences in serum VEGF levels were obtained among the three stroke subtypes analyzed in this study (large-artery atherosclerosis, small-artery occlusion and other types of brain infarction). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that serum VEGF levels and cerebral artery stenosis ≥ 50 % were independently associated with an unfavorable outcome. Unfavorable outcome rates were significantly greater in stroke patients showing VEGF levels in the upper quartiles of the distribution, and these VEGF levels were found to serve as a significant predictor of unfavorable outcomes in these minor ischemic stroke patients. Conclusion Increased serum VEGF may serve as an independent predictor of an unfavorable outcome in minor ischemic stroke.

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