C-reactive protein (CRP) in cerebro-vascular events

Author(s): Canova CR, Courtin C, Reinhart WH


Background and purpose:C-reactive protein (CRP) is a useful prognostic factor in coronary heart disease. It has not been previously studied in acute cerebro-vascular events, which was the topic of the present study.

Methods:Patients admitted to the hospital for an acute cerebro-vascular event were prospectively investigated. C-reactive protein was determined nephelometrically. Infection or inflammation were excluded clinically and with an erythrocyte sedimentation rate <30 mm/h. Computed tomography or nuclear magnetic resonance imaging of the brain was performed.

Results:According to initial brain imaging and the clinical course the 138 patients were divided into five groups: 20 with transient ischemic attack, 20 with reversible neurological deficit lasting less than 2 weeks, 61 with completed stroke and restitution, 16 with stroke without restitution and 21 with cerebral hemorrhage. Median CRP values (range) were 3.2 (2.4-13.5), 3.3 (2.4-39.4), 4.2 (2.4-73. 4), 3.4 (3.2-44.0) and 3.5 (2.4-104.0 mg/l), respectively with no significant differences between groups in a non-parametric test (Kruskal-Wallis). Risk factors for vascular disease in general and stroke in particular had no visible influence on CRP levels. No relationship was found between time interval since onset of symptoms and CRP measurement, suggesting that an acute cerebro-vascular event has little influence on CRP values.

Conclusion:CRP is not a useful marker to predict the outcome of an acute cerebro-vascular event on hospital admission. This is in contrast to acute coronary events.

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