This study aimed to determine whether the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family members soluble VEGF receptor 1 (also called soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1)) and placental growth factor (PlGF) could be used as biomarkers for pulmonary hypertension (PH). Consecutive patients undergoing right heart catheterisation were enrolled (those with mean pulmonary arterial pressure.25 mmHg were classed as having PH; those with mean pulmonary arterial pressure <25 mmHg acted as non-PH controls). Plasma from the time of PH diagnosis was analysed for PlGF and sFlt-1 using enzyme immunoassays. In total, 247 patients with PH were enrolled: 62 with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), 14 with associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (APAH), 21 with collagen vascular disease (CVD), 26 with pulmonary venous hypertension, 67 with lung disease-associated PH and 57 with chronic thromboembolic PH. The non-PH control group consisted of 40 patients. sFlt-1 plasma levels were significantly higher in patients with IPAH, APAH, CVD and lung disease-associated PH versus controls; PlGF levels were significantly higher in all PH groups versus controls. The combination of sFlt-1 and PlGF resulted in a sensitivity of 83.7% with specificity of 100% for pulmonary arterial hypertension. There was no association between sFlt-1 or PlGF and haemodynamic parameters, 6-min walking distance or survival. In summary, PlGF and sFlt-1 are promising diagnostic biomarkers for PH.,
The European Respiratory Journal
Department of Epidemiology

Tiede, S. L., Gall, H., Dörr, O., Troidl, C., Liebetrau, C., Voss, S., … Nef, H. (2015). New potential diagnostic biomarkers for pulmonary hypertension. The European Respiratory Journal, 46(5), 1390–1396. doi:10.1183/13993003.00187-2015