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Drugs acting by inhibition of the angiogenic action of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) have become major instruments in the treatment of cancer. The downside of their favorable effects in cancer treatment is their frequent cardiovascular side effects. The most consistent finding thus far on the cardiovascular side effects of VEGF inhibitors is the high incidence of hypertension. In this short review, we discuss the evidence that hypertension occurring during VEGF inhibitor treatment is caused by microvascular rarefaction. After a review of the role of VEGF in microvascular growth and differentiation, we present evidence from studies in experimental models of hypertension as well as clinical studies on the microvascular network changes during and after VEGF inhibitor treatment.


Ferdinand A C le Noble, Jean-Jacques Mourad, Bernard I Levy, Harry A J Struijker-Boudier. VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) Inhibition and Hypertension: Does Microvascular Rarefaction Play a Role? Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979). 2023 May;80(5):901-911

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PMID: 36748474

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