Effect of laser photocoagulation on plasma levels of VEGF-A, VEGFR-2, and Tie2 in infants with retinopathy of prematurity

J AAPOS. 2014 Oct;18(5):466-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2014.07.159. Epub 2014 Sep 27.


Purpose: To report the baseline plasma levels of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (sVEGFR-2) and soluble Tie2 in infants with treatment-requiring retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and to investigate the effect of laser treatment on the plasma levels.

Methods: Blood samples were collected from infants with prethreshold type 1 ROP before, 1 day after, and 1 week after confluent laser photocoagulation. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay procedure was used to determine plasma VEGF-A, sVEGFR-2, and sTie2 levels.

Results: A total of 48 eyes of 30 infants were included. The mean postconceptional age at which laser photocoagulation was performed was 37.5 ± 2.9 weeks. The mean number of laser spots applied to each eye was 1,480 ± 420. Regression of active retinopathy occurred within 1 week of treatment in all cases. Baseline plasma VEGF-A, sVEGFR-2, and sTie2 levels did not differ between unilateral and bilateral and also zone I and zone II disease. A significantly progressive decrease was observed in plasma VEGF-A, sVEGFR-2, and sTie2 levels at 1 day and 1 week after laser photocoagulation.

Conclusions: Plasma levels of VEGF-A, sVEGFR-2, and sTie2 decreased significantly in our patients after laser treatment; however, because of the variability in the measurements, further studies evaluating the clinical value of these angiogenic factors in patients with treatment-requiring ROP are necessary.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laser Coagulation / methods*
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Receptor, TIE-2 / blood*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / blood*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / surgery*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 / blood*


  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • KDR protein, human
  • Receptor, TIE-2
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2