Methods: Forty-one children (≥6yrs of age) with asthma were enrolled and 2 groups were defined: 23 patients admitted with asthma exacerbation and 18 patients with stable asthma. Serum levels of VEGF, TGF-β1, PDGF-BB, YKL-40, and clusterin were measured using ELISA, and assessed in relation to the clinical and spirometric parameters. Fifteen age-matched controls were also studied.
Results: VEGF, TGF-β1, and YKL-40 levels in children with acute asthma were significantly elevated compared to controls. VEGF and YKL-40 levels in stable asthma group were higher than in controls and not different from those in acute asthma group. VEGF levels in acute asthma group correlated significantly with asthma severity. TGF-β1 levels in stable asthma group showed a significant inverse correlation with FEV1% and FEF25-75%. YKL-40 had no relationship with clinical and spirometric parameters.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that increased VEGF and YKL-40 might affect asthmatic airways not only during acute exacerbation but also in stable state. It also suggests that serum TGF-β1 might be a biomarker for airway obstruction in children with asthma.