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Intern Med. 2008;47(17):1511-6. Epub 2008 Sep 1.

The relationship between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and microalbuminuria in patients with essential hypertension.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nephrology, Gazi University.



The existence of microalbuminuria (MAU) in patients with essential hypertension is a strong indicator of microvascular damage. Although endothelial dysfunction and increased vascular permeability both have a role in the development of MAU, its ethiopathogenesis in hypertensive patients is not yet clearly understood. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the most important regulator of pathological or physiological angiogenesis and it additionally leads to increased vascular permeability. This study aims to assess the relationship of serum VEGF levels to MAU in non-complicated, newly-diagnosed essential hypertensive patients (EHs).


This study included 30 newly-diagnosed EHs with MAU, 46 newly-diagnosed EHs without MAU and 46 healthy controls. None of the EHs had diabetes, renal impairment or atherosclerotic diseases. Serum VEGF levels were measured using the ELISA method.


Serum levels of VEGF were significantly higher in EHs with MAU when compared with patients without MAU (225.15+/-109.34 pg/mL versus 166.78+/-114.35 pg/mL, p: 0.04) or controls (225.15+/-109.34 pg/mL versus 144.91+/-96.60 pg/mL, p: 0.007). On the other hand, no significant difference was observed between the non-MAU and control groups. In the univariate analysis, serum levels of VEGF, were positively correlated with systolic blood pressure (R: 0.253 p: 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (R: 0.162 p: 0.04), mean arterial pressure (R: 0.239 p: 0.002), creatinine clearance (R: 0.172 p: 0.04) and MAU (R: 0.338 p: 0.002). In the multiple linear regression analysis, VEGF levels were independently related to MAU (beta: 0.248, p: 0.02).


VEGF levels are higher in EHs in the presence of MAU. These high values may be important in the early diagnosis of vascular damage in EHs. Additionally, VEGF may increase glomerular permeability and lead to MAU in EHs.

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