Introduction: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a specific mitogen for endothelial cells. Granulocytemonocyte colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a key player in the regulation of steady-state functions. Studies have shown increased levels of VEGF and GM-CSF in benign and malignant tumors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation between VEGF and GM-CSF levels and thyroid nodules >1 cm. and negative for malignancy with fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB).
Methods and design: Forty-one female patients with benign euthyroid nodular goiter were enrolled as the patient group and 20 age-matched healthy women without thyroid disease were enrolled as the control group. Age, serum VEGF, serum GM-CSF, TSH, fT3, fT4, anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG) antibody, anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) antibody and thyroid volume were compared between the patient and control group.
Results: Only thyroid volume and anti-TG levels were significantly different between the two groups (P=0.007, P=0.026 respectively). Other parameters including VEGF and GM-CSF were not significantly different. Serum VEGF levels were positively correlated with anti-TPO levels in the patient group (r=0.325, P=0.036). No correlations were found between VEGF and other parameters. Serum GM-CSF levels were not correlated with any parameters.
Conclusions: VEGF and GM-CSF were not found to be increased in euthyroid patients with benign nodules and they do not seem to play a role in the development of simple nodular goiter. However, correlation between serum VEGF levels and anti-TPO levels in the patient group may indicate a relation between VEGF and development of autoimmune thyroid diseases as suggested by some authors.
27 Apr - 01 May 2013
European Society of Endocrinology