Aims: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a primary mediator of retinal angiogenesis, and higher levels of intraocular VEGF are observed in patients with active proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Meanwhile, whether serum VEGF level is associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR) or not is controversial. Methods: To investigate the significance of serum VEGF levels in diabetic patients with DR, we measured serum VEGF levels in 138 type 2 diabetic patients hospitalized for treatment of a hyperglycemic state, all of whom were not complicated by VEGF-related diseases, such as malignancy, cardiovascular disease or infectious disease. Results: Serum VEGF level was significantly increased in diabetic patients with DR as compared to those without DR. Moreover, multiple regression analysis and stepwise regression analysis revealed that body mass index and presence or absence of DR were associated with serum VEGF level; in particular, the presence of DR was strongly correlated with increased serum VEGF level. Conclusions: Increased serum VEGF level may be closely associated with the presence of DR in type 2 diabetic patients. Whether this conclusion is true for general type 2 diabetic patients is a subject for future investigation because of several limitations of this study, including sample selection bias.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism