Aim: To investigate whether vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblastic growth factor (bFGF) are associated with spider angiomas in patients with liver cirrhosis. Methods: Eighty-six patients with liver cirrhosis were enrolled and the number and size of the spider angiomas were recorded. Fifty-three healthy subjects were selected as controls. Plasma levels of VEGF and bFGF were measured in both the cirrhotics and the controls. Results: Plasma VEGF and bFGF were increased in cirrhotics compared with controls (122±13 vs. 71±11 pg/mL, P=0.003 for VEGF; 5.1±0.5 vs. 3.4±0.5 pg/mL, P=0.022 for bFGF). In cirrhotics, plasma VEGF and bFGF were also higher in patients with spider angiomas compared with patients without spider angiomas (185±28 vs. 90±10 pg/mL, P=0.003 for VEGF; 6.8±1.0 vs. 4.1±0.5 pg/mL, P=0.017 for bFGF). Multivariate logistic regression showed that young age and increased plasma levels of VEGF and bFGF were the most significant predictors for the presence of spider angiomas in cirrhotic patients (odds ratio [OR]=6.64, 95 % confidence interval [CI]=2.02-21.79, P=0.002; OR=4.35, 95 % CI=1.35-14.01, P=0.014; OR=5.66, 95 % CI=1.72-18.63, P=0.004, respectively). Conclusion: Plasma VEGF and bFGF are elevated in patients with liver cirrhosis. Age as well as plasma levels of VEGF and bFGF are significant predictors for spider angiomas in cirrhotic patients.
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