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Angiogenesis in chronic liver disease

Anjali D. Amarapurkar, Deepak N. Amarapurkar, _ Vibhav, Nikhil D. Patel


inflammation and fibrosis. As a consequence angiogenesis leading to new vasculature may have prognostic value in disease progression. Interfering with angiogenesis may be a potential target to avoid progression of liver disease. Hence we planned to evaluate the CD34 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the markers for angiogenesis in chronic liver disease. Method: Liver biopsies from 79 patients of chronic liver disease and 21 cases of HCC (M: F = 4:1, age range 22 to 80) were stained for routine HE, CD 34 and VEGF immunostaining (Dako Corp & Santa Cruz respectively). Etiologies of chronic liver disease were alcoholic liver disease, HBV, HCV infection, NAFLD, autoimmune liver disease, and cryptogenic liver disease. Thirty biopsies from normal liver obtained at autopsy were taken as controls. Expressions of CD 34 and VEGF were compared with the stage of fibrosis. Results: Out of 79 patients, angiogenesis was seen in 45.5% cases of chronic liver disease. None of the case with normal liver histology was CD 34 or VEGF positive. No significant correlation of angiogenesis was found between any etiologies of chronic liver disease. CD 34 was positive in 18/21 (85.7%) cases of hepatocellular carcinoma. CD 34 and VEGF positivity was 20.9% and 46.5% in stage 1 and 2 fibrosis while it was 75% and 80% in stage 3 and 4 fibrosis respectively. VEGF appeared more common as compared to CD 34 in early fibrosis. Conclusion: Angiogenesis was present in 45.5% cases of chronic liver disease. It was proportional to the increase in stage of fibrosis. Expression of VEGF was commonly found in early stages of fibrosis. Hence, therapeutic strategies of inhibiting VEGF expression may be of importance in preventing the progression of chronic liver disease in its early stage.

Key words. Endothelial cells, VEGF, CD 34, hepatocellular carcinoma, viral hepatitis, neovascularization

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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