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Association of serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and early ectopic pregnancy
1 Department of Obstetrics of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
Clin. Exp. Obstet. Gynecol. 2013, 40(4), 489–491;
Published: 10 December 2013
Background: This study evaluated serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) concentrations in women with ectopic pregnancy (EP), miscarriage, and normal pregnancy (NP). Materials and Methods: This was a case-control study comparing serum VEGF concentrations among 72 women with ectopic pregnancy (n = 35), miscarriage (n = 15), and normal pregnancy (n = 22) matched for gestational age. For the determination of serum VEGF concentration a solid phase sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used. Patients were stratified according to serum VEGF above or below 200 pg/ml. Results: The serum level of VEGF was significantly higher in women with EP (median 211.1 pg/ml; range 5-1,017.0 pg/ml) than in women with normal pregnancy (median 5 pg/ml; range 5-310.6 pg/ml) p < 0.0001. Serum VEGF concentrations did not show any statistically significant difference between women with miscarriage (median 231.9 pg/ml; range 5-813.7 pg/ml) and EP (median 211.1 pg/ml; range 5-1,017.0 pg/ml). When threshold concentrations of serum VEGF level > 200 pg/ml were used, an EP could be distinguished from a normal pregnancy with a sensitivity of 51.4%, a specificity of 90.9%, and a positive predictive value of 90%. Between EP and miscarriage, the sensitivity was 51.4%, specificity 42.8%, and a positive predictive value of 69.2%. Conclusions: Serum VEGF could not distinguish an EP from a miscarriage. However, serum VEGF concentrations could discriminate a normal intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) from an unviable pregnancy (EP or miscarriage).