Background: Effective prognostic markers are needed for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV). This study evaluated the clinical associations of serum vascular endothelial growth factor-A (sVEGF-A) and sVEGF-A165b (an antiangiogenic isoform of VEGF-A) concentrations with time to remission of AAV in a nationwide Japanese prospective follow-up cohort. Methods: We collected samples from patients with AAV who were enrolled in the nationwide Japanese cohort study (RemIT-JAV-RPGN). We measured sVEGF-A and sVEGF-A165b concentrations using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays in 57 serum samples collected 6 months before and after initiation of AAV treatment. Patients were classified based on AAV disease subtypes: microscopic polyangiitis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA). Results: Results revealed significant reductions in sVEGF-A and sVEGF-A165b concentrations in patients with microscopic polyangiitis and EGPA, respectively. However, despite the comparable concentrations of sVEGF-A and sVEGF-A165b during the 6 months of treatment in granulomatosis with polyangiitis patients, correlation analysis revealed that the differences in log2-transformed concentrations of sVEGF-A and sVEGF-A165b were inversely correlated with time to remission in granulomatosis with polyangiitis patients. Conclusion: These results suggest that sVEGF-A and -A165b can serve as potential markers of time to remission in patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis.
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