Vascular endothelial growth factor and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: The interplay with exercise and noninvasive ventilation

Rita Carilho, Mamede De Carvalho, Michael Swash, Susana Pinto, Anabela Pinto, Júlia Costa

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Introduction: We evaluated plasma vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with reference to the effects of respiratory failure, noninvasive ventilation (NIV), and exercise. Methods: We studied plasma VEGF levels in 83 ALS patients, 20 healthy controls, and 10 patients with other disorders. There were 4 groups of ALS patients: G1, 27 patients without respiratory problems; G2, 14 patients stabilized on nocturnal NIV; G3, 30 patients presenting with respiratory failure; G4, 12 patients on an aerobic exercise protocol. Results: VEGF plasma levels did not differ significantly between ALS patients and controls, or between ALS groups. In G3, the mean VEGF levels increased 75% during NIV. In G4, the mean VEGF level increased by 300% during the exercise program. VEGF levels did not change during the course of the disease. Conclusions: VEGF levels in ALS depend on changes in ventilation and exercise but are probably not affected by the disease process itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle & Nerve
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Biomarker
  • Exercise
  • Noninvasive ventilation
  • Plasma VEGF levels

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