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Ann Med. 2005;37(5):365-72.

Angiogenic factors in atrial fibrillation: a possible role in thrombogenesis?

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  • 1Haemostasis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Unit, University Department of Medicine, City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The precise pathophysiological processes underlying the prothrombotic or hypercoagulable state in atrial fibrillation (AF) remain uncertain. We hypothesized a relationship between abnormal endothelial damage/dysfunction, coagulation, and angiogenic factors, thereby contributing to increased thrombogenicity.

METHODS:

Plasma levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF, an index of endothelial damage/dysfunction) and tissue factor (TF, an index of coagulation), as well as the angiogenic factors, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) in 59 chronic AF patients. Data were compared to 40 age- and sex-matched healthy controls in sinus rhythm.

RESULTS:

Plasma vWF, VEGF and Ang-2 were significantly higher in AF patients compared to healthy controls (P=0.005, P=0.0055 and P<0.0001 respectively) but there were no significant differences in plasma Ang-1 or TF levels between the two groups (P=0.925 and P=0.121 respectively). Significant correlations were found between VEGF and vWF levels (Spearman, r=0.262, P=0.011) and between VEGF and Ang-2 (r=0.333, P=0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Raised VEGF in association with Ang-2 and vWF may reflect a link between abnormal endothelial damage/dysfunction and angiogenic factors. These may act together to alter TF expression and endothelial integrity, thereby contributing to the prothrombotic state in AF.

PMID:
16179272
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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