Age-related macular degeneration is associated with increased vascular endothelial growth factor, hemorheology and endothelial dysfunction

Peck-Lin Lip, Andrew D. Blann, Monique Hope-Ross, Jonathan M. Gibson, Gregory Y.H. Lip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To investigate laboratory evidence of abnormal angiogenesis, hemorheologic factors, endothelial damage/dysfunction, and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).
DESIGN: Comparative cross-sectional study.
PARTICIPANTS: We studied 78 subjects (26 men and 52 women; mean age 74 years; standard deviation [SD] 9.0) with ARMD attending a specialist referral clinic. Subjects were compared with 25 healthy controls (mean age, 71 years; SD, 11).
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME MEASURES: Levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, an index of angiogenesis), hemorheologic factors (plasma viscosity, hematocrit, white cell count, hemoglobin, platelets), fibrinogen (an index of rheology and hemostasis), and von Willebrand factor (a marker of endothelial dysfunction) were measured.
RESULTS: Median plasma VEGF (225 vs. 195 pg/ml, P = 0.019) and mean von Willebrand factor (124 vs. 99 IU/dl, P = 0.0004) were greater in ARMD subjects than the controls. Mean plasma fibrinogen and plasma viscosity levels were also higher in the subjects (both P < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in other indices between cases and controls. When "dry" (drusen, atrophy, n = 28) and "exudative" (n = 50) ARMD subjects were compared, there was no significant differences in VEGF, fibrinogen, viscosity, or von Willebrand factor levels. There were no significant correlations between the measured parameters. Stepwise multiple regression analysis did not demonstrate any significant clinical predictors (age, gender, smoking, body mass index, history of vascular disease, or hypertension) for plasma VEGF or fibrinogen levels, although smoking status was a predictor of plasma von Willebrand factor levels (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests an association between markers of angiogenesis (VEGF), hemorheologic factors, hemostasis, endothelial dysfunction, and ARMD. The interaction between abnormal angiogenesis and the components of Virchow's triad for thrombogenesis may in part contribute to the pathogenesis of ARMD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-10
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmology- Journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


  • Aged
  • Biological Markers
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Neovascularization
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • von Willebrand Factor


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