Prognostic utility of circulating growth factors in aortic valve stenosis: A pilot study

Juris Hofmanis, Peteris Tretjakovs (Coresponding Author), Simons Svirskis, Gita Gersone, Dace Hofmane, Ulla Rozenberga, Leons Blumfelds, Guntis Bahs, Aivars Lejnieks, Vitolds Mackevics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Background and Objectives: Aortic valve stenosis (AS) develops with a pronounced local inflammatory response, where a variety of growth factors are involved in the process, and may have a pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effect. The aim of our study was to elucidate whether circulating growth factors: growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2), and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21) could be proposed as clinically relevant biomarkers to improve risk stratification in AS patients. Materials and Methods: AS patients were classified into three groups: 16 patients with mild AS stenosis; 19 with moderate and 11 with severe AS, and 30 subjects without AS (echocardiographically approved) were selected as a control group. GDF-15, Ang-2, VEGF-A, FGF-2, and FGF-21 were measured in plasma by the ELISA method. Results: GDF-15 levels differed significantly not only when comparing AS patients with control groups (p < 0.0001), but also a statistically significant difference was achieved when comparing AS patients at a mild degree stage with control individuals. We found a strong relationship of GDF-15 levels regarding AS severity degree (p < 0.0001). VEGF-A, FGF-2 and FGF-21 levels were significantly higher in AS patients than in controls, but relationships regarding the AS severity degree were weaker (p < 0.02). ROC analysis of the study growth factors showed that GDF-15 might serve as a specific and sensitive biomarker of AS stenosis (AUC = 0.75, p = 0.0002). FGF-21 correlated with GDF-15, Ang-2, and FGF-2, but it did not reach the level to serve as a clinically relevant biomarker of AS stenosis. Conclusions: AS is associated with significantly increased GDF-15, VEGF-A, FGF-2, and FGF-21 levels in plasma, but only GDF-15 shows a pronounced relationship regarding AS severity degree, and GDF-15 might serve as a specific and sensitive biomarker of AS stenosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Angiopoietin-2
  • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Fibroblast growth factor 2
  • Fibroblast growth factor-21
  • Growth differentiation factor 15
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor A

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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