BACKGROUND: Blood transfusion may reduce survival after curative surgery for solid tumors. This may be related to extracellular content of cancer growth factors present in transfusion components. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent stimulator of angiogenesis in solid tumors. The potential content of VEGF in various blood components for transfusion was evaluated. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Soluble VEGF (sVEGF, isotype 165) was determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EIA) in serum and plasma samples and in lysed cells from healthy volunteers. Subsequently, total content of sVEGF was determined in nonfiltered and prestorage white cell-reduced whole blood (WB), buffy coat-depleted saline-adenine-glucose-mannitol (SAGM) blood, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and buffy coat-derived platelet (BCP) pools obtained from volunteer, healthy blood donors. As a control, total content of platelet-derived soluble plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (sPAI-1) was determined by an EIA in the same samples. Finally, the extracellular accumulation of sVEGF was determined in nonfiltered WB and SAGM blood during storage for 35 days and in BCP pools during storage for 7 days. RESULTS: In the healthy volunteers, median total sVEGF content was 97 (range, 20-303) pg per mL in serum and 19 (13-37) pg per mL in plasma (n = 12, p < 0.002) and 445 (280-990) pg per mL in lysed cells. Median total sPAI-1 content was 94 (64-127) ng per mL in serum, 8 (6-11) ng per mL in citrated plasma, and 95 (78-123) ng per mL in lysed cells. In SAGM blood, the median total sVEGF content was 25.3 (3.3-48.4) ng per unit in nonfiltered units and undetectable in white cell-reduced units. Median total sVEGF content was 29.2 (24.8-124.9) ng per unit in nonfiltered PRP and 28.7 (24.5-118.6) ng per unit in white cell-reduced PRP. The sVEGF accumulated significantly in WB, SAGM blood, and BCP pools, depending on the storage time. CONCLUSION: The sVEGF (isotype 165) appears to be present in various blood transfusion components, depending on storage time.