Background: The β-Thalassemia syndromes are the most common hereditary chronic hemolytic anemia due to impaired globin chain synthesis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays several roles in angiogenesis which is a crucial process in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory, autoimmune and malignant diseases .Endothelial damage and inflammation make a significant contribution to the pathophysiology of β-thalassemia.
Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess serum VEGF level in children with beta-thalassemia major as a marker of angiogenesis.
Methods: Blood samples were collected from 40 patients with thalassemia major and 10 healthy controls and assayed for VEGF by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: VEGF level was significantly higher in patients with β-Thalassemia major than healthy controls (p=0.001).In addition, VEGF level was higher in splenectomised thalassemic patients than non splenectomised ones (p=0.001) .However, there were a positive correlation between VEGF and chelation starting age (p=0.008) and a negative correlation between VEGF and frequency of blood transfusion (p=0.002).
Conclusion: thalassemia patients, especially splenectomized, have elevated serum levels of VEGF. Early chelation and regular blood transfusion help to decrease serum VEGF and the risk of angiogenesis.