Human milk is a complex biological fluid. It contains many nutrients, anti-infectious and biologically active substance. Human milk also contains many angiogenic polypeptides. We have determined four of these: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). The aim of this study was to compare the concentrations of VEGF, b-FGF, IGF-I and PDGF in human milk collected from mothers with preterm and term neonates. Human milk samples were collected from 29 mothers of preterm (<37 weeks) and from 29 mothers of term (38 > weeks) infants at days 3, 7 and 28 postpartum. Milk samples were analyzed for VEGF, b-FGF and PDGF by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and IGF-I was measured by radioimmunoassay method. Human milk levels of VEGF. IGF-I and b-FGF were significantly higher (p<0.001). Furthermore, within-preterm group concentrations of VEGF. IGF-I and PDGF significantly differed during postpartum days 3-7-28 (p<0.001, p<0.05, p<0.001, respectively), but did not do so for bFGF concentrations. In term groups, concentrations of IGF-I and VEGF significantly differed (p<0.05, p<0.001, respectively), but did not do so for concentrations of b-FGF and PDGF. This is the first report of simultaneous measurements of four major angiogenic factors in human milk collected from mothers with preterm and term. Our results suggest that three of four angiogenic factors. VEGF, b-FGF and IGF-I, are higher concentration in human milk which collected from preterm mothers than those of terms. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.