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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2001 May-Jun;19(3):321-4.

Vascular endothelial growth factor levels in the serum and synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.



To determine the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) concentrations in serum and synovial fluid (SF) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to search for relationships between VEGF levels and clinical and laboratory variables.


We measured VEGF levels using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum samples were obtained from 99 RA patients, 49 osteoarthritis (OA) patients, and 80 normal controls. Paired samples of serum and SF were collected from 32 patients with RA and 15 with OA.


The mean serum VEGF concentration was 590.1 pg/ml for RA patients, 286.7 pg/ml for OA patients, and 265.8 pg/ml in controls. The serum VEGF concentration was significantly higher in the RA patients than in the OA patients or the controls (both p < 0.001). Furthermore, the VEGF levels in SF from RA patients were significantly higher than in SF from OA patients (p = 0.017). However, there was no correlation between VEGF levels in serum and SF from the same RA patients. The serum VEGF concentration was correlated with the ESR, serum CRP concentration, serum rheumatoid factor, number of tender and swollen joints, Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire, and patient and physician global assessments of disease activity in RA patients.


These results suggest that VEGF level is related to RA disease activity, suggesting that VEGF may play some role in the pathogenesis of RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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