This study was designed to evaluate whether vascular endothelial growth factor serum concentrations may identify adolescents with onset of type 1 diabetes during childhood at greater risk to develop persistent microalbuminuria and incipient diabetic nephropathy. In January 1989, vascular endothelial growth factor serum levels were measured in 101 normoalbuminuric diabetic children and adolescents (aged 7-14.9 yr; onset of diabetes before age 18 yr; duration of diabetes >7 yr). Participants were clinically examined at baseline and annually thereafter. Vascular endothelial growth factor serum concentrations were measured every year during the 8-yr follow-up period. Over 8 yr, 11 of 101 patients (10.9%) developed persistent microalbuminuria; no patient developed overt nephropathy. The risk of developing microalbuminuria was higher in children with increased vascular endothelial growth factor serum levels (using 160 pg/ml as the arbitrary cut-off point; group 1) compared with those with normal vascular endothelial growth factor serum levels at the beginning of the study (group 2; 19.2 vs. 2.0%; P < 0.01; sensitivity, 90.9%; specificity, 53.3%). The odds ratio for the occurrence of microalbuminuria after adjustment for confounding variables (albumin excretion rate, sex, hemoglobin A1c, mean blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides) in type 1 diabetic adolescents with elevated vascular endothelial growth factor serum levels was 4.1 (95% confidence interval, 2.0-10.9). These results suggest that vascular endothelial growth factor serum concentrations may be one of the predictors and risk factors for microalbuminuria and incipient diabetic nephropathy in adolescents and young adults with onset of diabetes during childhood. Persistently increased vascular endothelial growth factor serum levels may help to identify normotensive, normoalbuminuric patients with type I diabetes who are predisposed to develop persistent microalbuminuria later in life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical