Von Willebrand factor, P-selectin and fibrinogen levels in patients with acute ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke, and their relationship with stroke sub-type and functional outcome

Author(s): Bath PM, Blann A, Smith N, Butterworth RJ


Although ischaemic stroke is associated with accentuated platelet function, it remains unclear whether this applies to all sub-types, especially lacunar infarcts, which differ from cortical infarction in their patho-aetiology. Similarly, conflicting evidence suggests that haemorrhagic stroke may, or may not, be associated with a hypothrombotic state. Levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF), fibrinogen, and P-selectin were measured within 48 h of ictus in 163 patients with acute ischaemic stroke and 40 patients with acute primary intracerebral haemorrhage, and 33 age, gender and race matched-controls. vW F (IU/dl) was significantly increased in both cortical and lacunar ischaemic stroke, and haemorrhagic stroke, as compared with controls, median (semiquartile range): 158 (25) vs 144 (19) vs 147 (24) vs 114 (16), respectively. Similarly, fibrinogen (g/litre) was increased: 4.80 (0.90) vs 4.65 (0.70) vs 4.35 (0.83) vs 3.70 (0.70). In contrast, soluble P-selectin (ng/ml) was increased in cortical stroke as compared with lacunar infraction patients or controls: 408 (101) vs 300 (108) vs 324 (121), respectively; P-selectin was not increased in haemorrhagic stroke, 360 (153). Both vW F and fibrinogen correlated with 3-month functional outcome (modified Rankin score): r = 0.371 (2 P = 0.0006), and r = 0.195 (2 P = 0.042), respectively; however, P-selectin was not associated with outcome: r = 0.188 (2 P = 0.084). The results suggest that increases in vW F and fibrinogen in all types of stroke reflect an acute phase response; in contrast, increased soluble P-selectin levels in cortical stroke, but not lacunar infarction, suggest that platelets contribute to the patho-aetiology of some subtypes of ischaemic stroke.

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