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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2009 May;22(5):371-8. doi: 10.1080/14767050802645035.

Vascular endothelial growth factor gene polymorphisms and pregnancy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major angiogenic factor and prime regulator of endothelial cell proliferation. During pregnancy, VEGF is essential for the proliferation of trophoblasts, the development of embryonic vasculature and the growth of maternal and fetal blood cells in utero. In cases of pre-eclampsia and in some circumstances of preterm labor-raised umbilical cord serum, VEGF levels might be correlated with the clinical development of the above pathological disorders. Genetic alteration as 936C/T VEGF gene polymorphism has a statistical significant correlation with the severity of pre-eclampsia. The same VEGF gene polymorphism, which has been associated with lower protein production, has an increased risk of spontaneous preterm delivery in a Greek-studied population. Homozygotes were found to carry the greatest risk with a lesser proportionate risk associated with heterozygosity, whereas women with the -1154 allele of the VEGF gene have an increased risk of recurrent pregnancy loss. In this review, we present evidence that demonstrates an implication of VEGF gene polymorphisms in the pathological disorders of pregnancy. However, further genetic studies are needed to confirm these data.

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