Angiogenic factors, in particular vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the angiopoietins, Ang-1 and -2, have recently generated significant interest, especially in oncology. The process of angiogenesis is also thought to occur in response to ischaemic conditions, which lie at the core of cardiovascular disease states such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. However, current data do not conclusively show evidence of angiogenesis per se in these conditions, despite (for example) the presence of high levels of VEGF and Ang-2. High levels of these angiogenic factors in heart disease also have not translated into clinically significant new vessel formation, as in accelerated cancer growth or proliferative retinopathy. Indeed, we would hypothesize that these angiogenic markers--especially the angiopoietins--do not necessarily translate into new vessel formation in congestive heart failure (CHF), but may well reflect disturbances of endothelial integrity in CHF.
- vascular endothelial growth factor
- congestive heart failure