Serum concentrations of basic fibroblast growth factor in collagen diseases

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996 Sep;35(3 Pt 1):392-7. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(96)90603-9.


Background: Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), a cytoplasmic polypeptide growth regulator that induces endothelial cell and fibroblast proliferation, is produced by endothelial cells and skeletal muscle.

Objective: We hypothesized that this factor is involved in fibrotic changes in muscle and skin in collagen diseases.

Methods: The serum level of bFGF was measured in 74 patients with systemic sclerosis, 12 with systemic lupus erythematosus, 33 with dermatomyositis, 13 with Raynaud's disease, and 20 control subjects.

Results: bFGF was undetectable in the serum of normal persons, but detectable levels were found in 31 of 74 patients with systemic sclerosis and 7 of 33 patients with dermatomyositis. Elevated serum bFGF level was correlated with an elevated plasma endothelin level and anticentromere antibody in patients with systemic sclerosis. An elevated serum bFGF level correlated with lung fibrosis and an elevated creatine kinase level in the patients with dermatomyositis.

Conclusion: Measurement of the serum bFGF level may be useful to detect vascular damage in patients with systemic sclerosis and muscule fibrosis in patients with dermatomyositis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Centromere / immunology
  • Collagen Diseases / blood*
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Dermatomyositis / blood
  • Dermatomyositis / enzymology
  • Endothelins / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / blood*
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / blood
  • Raynaud Disease / blood
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / blood
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Autoantibodies
  • Endothelins
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Creatine Kinase