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.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Noninvasive ventilation
- Plasma VEGF levels