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Cytokine. 2010 Feb;49(2):141-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2009.11.012. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Local serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor in infantile hemangioma: intriguing mechanism of endothelial growth.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery & Oncology, Medical University of Lodz, 91-738 Lodz, Poland.


The pathogenesis of hemangiomas still remains poorly understood. Dysregulation of angiogenesis has been proposed to play a central role in hemangioma pathogenesis. The aim of our study was to determine the peripheral and local serum levels of VEGF in patients with hemangiomas and vascular malformations.


The study group consisted of 52 children with infantile hemangioma (33 with proliferative lesions, 19 with involuting lesions), 14 children with vascular malformations and 36 healthy children. VEGF serum levels were analyzed by an ELISA assay and the values between the groups were compared.


The serum peripheral VEGF concentrations in children with proliferative hemangiomas were significantly higher than in patients with involuting hemangiomas, vascular malformations and controls. There was no correlation between the measured cytokine level, hemangioma size, and the age of the patients. The local serum VEGF levels in 29 children with hemangiomas were distinctly lower than in the peripheral blood, both in 20 proliferating hemangiomas (p<0.0001) and 9 involuting ones (p=0.007); and the difference between females and males was non-significant (NS p=0.06).


(1) VEGF serum levels vary in the different phases of hemangioma growth and may help to distinguish hemangiomas from vascular malformations; (2) obtained local results may support the intrinsic theory of endothelial cell proliferation in hemangiomas.

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