Angiopoietin-2, marker and mediator of endothelial activation with prognostic significance early after trauma?

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To measure plasma levels of angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) early after trauma and to determine their clinical significance. BACKGROUND: Angiopoietins and VEGF play a central role in the physiology and pathophysiology of endothelial cells. Ang-2 has recently been shown to have pathogenetic significance in sepsis and acute lung injury. Little is known about the role of angiopoietins and VEGF early after trauma. METHODS: Blood specimens from consecutive major trauma patients were obtained immediately upon arrival in the emergency department and plasma samples assayed for Ang-1, Ang-2, VEGF, markers of endothelial activation, protein C pathway, fibrinolytic system, and complement. Base deficit was used as a measure of tissue hypoperfusion. Data were collected prospectively. RESULTS: Blood samples were obtained from 208 adult trauma patients within 30 minutes after injury before any significant fluid resuscitation. Plasma levels of Ang-2, but not Ang-1 and VEGF were increased and correlated independently with severity of injury and tissue hypoperfusion. Furthermore, plasma levels of Ang-2 correlated with markers of endothelial activation, coagulation abnormalities, and activation of the complement cascade and were associated with worse clinical outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Ang-2 is released early after trauma with the degree proportional to both injury severity and systemic hypoperfusion. High levels of Ang-2 were associated with an activated endothelium, coagulation abnormalities, complement activation, and worse clinical outcome. These data indicate that Ang-2 is a marker and possibly a direct mediator of endothelial activation and dysfunction after severe trauma. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
  • Published In

  • Annals of Surgery  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ganter MT; Cohen MJ; Brohi K; Chesebro BB; Staudenmayer KL; Rahn P; Christiaans SC; Bir ND; Pittet JF
  • Start Page

  • 320
  • End Page

  • 326
  • Volume

  • 247
  • Issue

  • 2