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Ann Dermatol Venereol. 1998 May;125(5):313-6.

[Importance of bFGF ("basic fibroblast growth factor") for diagnosis and treatment of hemangiomas].

[Article in French]

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  • 1ETS AP-HP Site transfusionnel Saint-Louis, Laboratoire des cytokines, Paris.



Hemangiomas of infancy follow a characteristic three-phases course: proliferation, involution, regressed Proliferative endothelial cells predominate during the proliferative phase. Moreover it has been shown that patients with active angiogenesis have elevated levels of urinary bFGF (basic Fibroblast Growth Factor).


Here we report our preliminary results of urinary bFGF assay (ELISA) for the diagnosis and follow up of severe hemangioma. We also assayed bFGF in normal infants, in patients with large vascular malformations and in infants with Kasabach-Merritt syndrome.


In the control group, urinary bFGF was elevated in new borns but nul or very low in infants. Urinary bFGF levels were normal, i.e. very low in 4 patients with a vascular malformation. In infants with a clinically proliferative hemangioma, urinary bFGF was elevated in 8 among the 10 studied. bFGF levels guided treatment in 9 patients. Urinary bFGF was elevated in 4 patients with Kasabach-Merritt syndrome.


Angiogenesis is regulated by angiogenic and inhibitory factors. The angiogenic factor bFGF is an autocrine growth factor for endothelial cells and hemangioma endothelial cells expressing bFGF in their cytosol during the proliferative phase. As suggested by J. Folkman and his group, assay of urinary bFGF appears useful in differentiating between hemangioma and vascular malformation and for follow up of treated patients.

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