Introduction: Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is characterized by the concomitant activation of coagulofibrinolytic disorders and systemic inflammation associated with endothelial dysfunction-induced microvascular permeability. Angiogenic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin (Ang), and their receptors, play crucial roles in angiogenesis and microvascular permeability. The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between angiogenic factors, their soluble receptors and organ dysfunction associated with DIC after severe trauma.
Materials and methods: A total of 57 patients with severe trauma were divided into two subgroups; 30 DIC patients and 27 non-DIC patients. The DIC was diagnosed based on the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine (JAAM) DIC and the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) overt DIC criteria. The serum levels of angiogenic factors were measured at the time of admission (Day 1), Day 3 and Day 5. This study compared levels of these angiogenic factors between the two DIC groups, and evaluated their predictive value for organ dysfunction.
Results: DIC patients, especially those with ISTH DIC, showed higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores and lactate levels. There were lower levels of VEGF, Ang1 and the soluble Tie2 in the ISTH DIC patients than the non-DIC patients. The levels of soluble VEGF receptor-1 (sVEGFR1), Ang2 and the Ang2/Ang1 ratio in the ISTH DIC patients were higher than in non-DIC patients. The relationship between the presence of massive transfusion and angiogenic factors indicated the same results. The levels of sVEGFR1, Ang2 and the Ang2/Ang1 ratio correlated with the SOFA scores. In particular, sVEGFR1 and Ang2 were independent predictors of an increase in the SOFA score. The lactate levels independently predicted increases in the levels of sVEGFR1 and Ang2. The decrease in the platelet counts also independently predicted the increase in Ang2 levels in DIC patients.
Conclusions: Angiogenic factors and their soluble receptors, particularly sVEGFR1 and Ang2, are considered to play pivotal roles in the development of organ dysfunction in DIC associated with severe trauma. DIC-induced tissue hypoxia and platelet consumption may play crucial roles in inducing sVEGFR1 and Ang2, and in determining the prognosis of the severity of organ dysfunction.