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J Rheumatol. 1999 Oct;26(10):2244-8.

Increased circulating vascular endothelial growth factor is correlated with disease activity in polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima City, Japan.



To investigate the relevance of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the pathogenesis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).


Serum VEGF levels in 58 patients with JRA (systemic in 17, polyarticular in 29, pauciarticular in 12) were measured by ELISA and compared with those of 21 patients with infectious diseases and 50 healthy children. Correlations of VEGF levels with number of joints with active arthritis, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and hyaluronic acid (HA) were examined.


Serum levels of VEGF in patients with JRA were significantly higher than in healthy controls. Patients with systemic and polyarticular JRA showed statistically higher levels of VEGF than those with infectious diseases. VEGF levels correlated statistically with C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients with both infectious diseases and polyarticular JRA, but the regression slope (VEGF/CRP) was much steeper in polyarticular JRA than in infectious diseases. Serum VEGF levels correlated with disease activity variables such as the number of joints with active arthritis, ESR, and serum HA levels in polyarticular JRA.


The correlation of serum VEGF levels and disease activity in polyarticular JRA suggests that VEGF may take an active part in joint inflammation.

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