Evaluation of plasma and urinary levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in patients with infantile hemangioma.

The pathogenesis of infantile hemangioma (IH) is not fully understood. It has been suggested that angiogenic factors increase in the proliferative stage, decreasing subsequently in the regression phase.To evaluate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) levels, according to infantile hemangioma (IH) growth stages and size, and to compare these levels in patients with IH and control subjects.This cross-sectional study included 68 patients with IH and 25 control subjects. Plasma and urinary MMP-9 and VEGF levels were evaluated during proliferative and regression phases. These levels were correlated with tumor size measured by ultrasonography. Nonparametric tests were performed.Among 68 patients with IH, 55 (81%) were female. Age ranged from 1 to 40 months (median 7.0 months). There was no difference in plasma and urinary levels of VEGF and MMP-9 between patients and control subjects. There were no significant differences in these levels between IH patients younger or older than 12 months of age, as a cutoff between proliferative and involution phases. No significant correlation was observed between tumor size and levels of the markers (R  0.05 for all comparisons).In our large sample, levels of VEGF and MMP-9 did not reflect the characteristic increased angiogenesis in patients with IH when compared to healthy subjects. In addition, these markers were not increased in the proliferative stage of the IH and did not correlate with tumor size.

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Authors: Anita Rotter, Xinaida T Lima, Zilda N P Oliveira