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Concentrations of the anti-angiogenic factor soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) are altered in peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM). In this study we investigated changes in the angiogenesis balance in PPCM.
Methods and Results:
Plasma concentrations of sFlt-1 and the pro-angiogenic placenta growth factor (PlGF) were determined in patients with PPCM during the post-partum phase (n=83), in healthy women at delivery (n=30), and in patients with acute heart failure (AHF; n=65). Women with cardiac failure prepartum or associated with any form of hypertension, including pre-eclampsia, were excluded. Compared with non-pregnant women, in women with AHF and PPCM, median PlGF concentrations were greater (19 [IQR 16–22] and 98 [IQR 78–126] ng/mL, respectively; P<0.001) and the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio was lower (9.8 [6.6–11.3] and 1.2 [0.9–2.8], respectively; P<0.001). The sFlt-1/PlGF ratio was lower in PPCM than in normal deliveries (1.2 [0.9–2.8] vs. 94.8 [68.8–194.1], respectively; P<0.0001). The area under the curve for PlGF (cut-off value: 50ng/mL) and/or the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio (cut-off value: 4) to distinguish PPCM from either normal delivery or AHF was >0.94. Median plasma concentrations of the anti-angiogenic factor relaxin-2 were lower in PPCM and AHF (0.3 [IQR 0.3–1.7] and 0.3 [IQR 0.3–1] ng/mL, respectively) compared with normal deliveries (1,807 [IQR 1,101–4,050] ng/mL; P<0.001).
Plasma of PPCM patients shows imbalanced angiogenesis. High PlGF and/or low sFlt-1/PlGF may be used to diagnose PPCM.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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