Serum level of vascular endothelial growth factor is influenced by erythropoietin treatment in peritoneal dialysis patients. (Grupo de Estudios Peritoneales de Madrid)

Adv Perit Dial. 2000;16:85-9.


Some patients on long-term peritoneal dialysis (PD) develop a hyperpermeability state, owing to peritoneal neoangiogenesis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a potent mitogen for endothelial cells, has been implicated in most diseases characterized by microvascular neoformation. Erythropoietin (EPO) is able to induce endothelial proliferation in vitro. Our aim was to elucidate whether VEGF serum levels are influenced by EPO treatment, and whether VEGF serum level maintains a relationship with peritoneal transport data. We analyzed serum levels of VEGF in 35 PD patients (18 males, 17 females). Mean age was 58 years, with a mean time on PD of 98 +/- 75 months. Of the 35 patients, 19 were on automated peritoneal dialysis, and 16 were on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Seven patients had diabetes. Peritoneal transport parameters were: urea mass transfer coefficient (MTC), 19.5 +/- 6.6 mL/min; creatinine MTC, 9.9 +/- 4.7 mL/min; net ultrafiltration, 491 +/- 166 mL per 4-hour dwell. Twenty seven patients were under therapy with recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO). Mean serum VEGF levels were 347 +/- 203 pg/mL (range 66-857 pg/mL), with most patients in the normal range (60-700 pg/mL). VEGF levels did not correlate with age, sex, primary renal disease, diabetes, type of PD, time on PD, peritonitis, and cumulative glucose load. We found no correlation with urea MTC, creatinine MTC, ultrafiltration rate, or protein effluent levels. However, a significant negative correlation with residual renal function was seen (r = -0.39, p < 0.05). Patients treated with rHuEPO showed significantly higher serum levels of VEGF than non treated patients (375 +/- 220 pg/mL vs 251 +/- 75 pg/mL, p < 0.05), although they had similar residual renal function. We conclude that increased serum VEGF levels are associated with EPO treatment. Consequently, VEGF might have a role in the EPO effects found in PD patients. Whether both agents are related to peritoneal neoangiogenesis requires further research.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / blood*
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Dialysis*
  • Peritoneum / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Erythropoietin