Background and Purpose - Angiogenesis may be beneficial in chronic myocardial and limb ischemia, but its role in intracranial atherosclerosis remains unknown. We aimed to investigate the relationship between the pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the anti-angiogenic endostatin, and the extent and risk of recurrence of symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis. Methods - Of a total of 94 consecutive patients with symptomatic intracranial stenoses, 40 fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Intracranial stenoses were confirmed by magnetic resonance angiography. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including diffusion-weighted sequences was conducted. Plasmatic VEGF and endostatin were determined from blood samples obtained 3 months after stroke onset, and patients were followed-up thereafter. Results - A total of 144 intracranial stenoses were confirmed (median number per patient=3). Endostatin/VEGF ratio gradually augmented with the increasing number of intracranial stenoses (r=0.35, P=0.02). Diabetes mellitus (OR, 6.04; CI, 1.1 to 32.2; P=0.03) and a higher endostatin/VEGF ratio (OR, 15.7; CI, 2.2 to 112.3; P=0.006) were independently associated with a greater extent of intracranial atherosclerosis. During a median follow-up of 13 months, 8 patients (20%) experienced a new cerebral ischemic event. A higher baseline endostatin concentration was an independent predictor of new events (hazard ratio, 7.24; CI, 1.6 to 33.8; P=0.011) in a Cox regression model after adjustment for age, sex, number of stenotic vessels, and risk factors. Patients with a higher endostatin level had a lower survival free of new events (P=0.01, log-rank test). Conclusions - A predominance of the inhibitor endostatin within the endogenous angiogenic response is associated with a greater extent and risk of recurrence of symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis, suggesting that angiogenesis may be beneficial in this condition.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2005|
- Atherosclerosis, intracranial
- Intracranial stenosis
- Vascular endothelial growth factor