Objective: To investigate the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor (VEGF-R2) in port-wine stains (PWSs).
Design: An immunohistochemistry (IHC) study on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens.
Methods: Representative sections from surgical resection specimens of 12 PWS patients and 12 control specimens stained with routine IHC by using polyclonal anti-VEGF and anti-VEGF-R2 antibodies. Slides were evaluated semiquantitatively for the intensity of staining for VEGF and VEGF-R2 by using a scoring system varying from 0 to 3+.
Results: PWS specimens showed statistically significant overexpression of both VEGF and VEGF-R2 molecules when compared with control specimens (P < 0.005).
Conclusions: VEGF and its receptor may play an important role in the pathogenesis of PWS. It is possible that PWS may progress by hyperplasia in addition to hypertrophy. VEGF-R blockade may have a potential role as a targeted approach in the treatment of this disfiguring condition in the future.