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Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
ISSN: 1394-195X
Vol. 24, No. 5, 2017, pp. 62-72
Bioline Code: mj17062
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 24, No. 5, 2017, pp. 62-72

 en Serum Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) as a Biomarker for Disease Activity in Lupus Nephritis
Wan Ghazali, Wan Syamimee; Iberahim, Rahimah & Mohd Ashari, Noor Suryani


Background: Previous studies have shown that serum VEGF levels were elevated in patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), especially in those with lupus nephritis (LN). In this case control study, we aimed to compare serum levels of VEGF in SLE patients between LN, non-LN and healthy participants to determine the association between serum VEGF levels and the activity and histological classes of lupus nephritis.
Methods: Blood samples were obtained from 92 SLE patients (46 LN and 46 non-LN) and 26 controls. Data were collected from medical records. Serum VEGF assays were performed by specific, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits (ELISA). Laboratory investigations included urinalysis, urine protein–creatinine ratio, serum creatinine, albumin and VEGF levels. Blood pressure, renal biopsy result and treatment were recorded. LN activity was evaluated using the renal subscale of the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (rBILAG, 2004). The rBILAG measures blood pressure (diastolic and systolic), urine protein, serum creatinine, calculated glomerular filtration rate (GFR), presence of active urinary sediments and histological evidence of active nephritis.
Results: Serum VEGF was elevated in SLE patients with LN compared with the non-LN group and healthy controls. The levels found were significantly higher in the sera of patients with active nephritis compared to those with quiescent nephritis (P = 0.024). The study did not find a statistically significant relationship between serum VEGF levels and histological classes of LN.
Conclusion: There was no significant difference of serum VEGF level between LN and non-LN SLE groups and between the non-LN group and healthy controls. However, there were increased levels of serum VEGF in the LN group, especially in patients with active nephritis as compared to quiescent nephritis group. This reflects the role of VEGF in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis, however the clinical potential of this biomarker needs further study.

serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF); biomarker; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); lupus nephritis (LN); renal British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (rBILAG)

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