Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Serial Changes in Markers Measuring Coagulation, Fibrinolysis, and Vasoactivity in Patients with Ischemic Stroke

Elena Haapaniemi

Doctoral dissertation, October 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine.

Ischemic stroke (IS) is a heterogeneous disease in which outcome is influenced by many factors. The hemostatic system is activated in association with cerebral ischemia, and thus, markers measuring coagulation, fibrinolysis, and vasoactivity could be useful tools in clinical practice. We investigated whether repeated measurements of these markers reveal patterns that might help in evaluating IS patients, including the early diagnosis of stroke subtypes, in estimating prognosis and risk of recurrence, and in selecting a treatment for secondary prevention of stroke.

Vasoconstrictor peptide endothelin-1 (ET-1), homocysteine (Hcy), indicators of thrombin formation and activation (prothrombin fragment 1+2/F1+2, thrombin-antithrombin complex/TAT), indicators of plasmin formation and fibrinolysis (tissue plasminogen activator/t-PA, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1/PAI-1, and D-dimer), and natural anticoagulants (antithrombin/AT, protein C/PC, and protein S/PS) were measured in 102 consecutive mild to moderate IS patients on four occasions: on admission and at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after stroke, and once in controls. All patients underwent neurological examination and blood sampling in the same session. Furthermore, 42 IS patients with heterozygous factor V Leiden mutation (FVLm) were selected from 740 IS patients without an obvious etiology, and evaluated in detail for specific clinical, laboratory, and radiological features.

Measurements of ET-1 and Hcy levels did not disclose information that could aid in the diagnostic evaluation of IS patients. F1+2 level at 3 months after IS had a positive correlation with recurrence of thromboembolic events, and thus, may be used as a predictive marker of subsequent cerebral events. The D-dimer and AT levels on admission and 1 week after IS were strongly associated with stroke severity, outcome, and disability. The specific analysis of IS patients with FVLm more often revealed a positive family history of thrombosis, a higher prevalence of peripheral vascular disease, and multiple infarctions in brain images, most of which were `silent infarcts´.

Results of this study support the view that IS patients with sustained activation of both the fibrinolytic and the coagulation systems and increased thrombin generation may have an unfavorable prognosis. The level of activation may reflect the ongoing thrombotic process and the extent of thrombosis. Changes in these markers could be useful in predicting prognosis of IS patients. A clear need exists for a randomized prospective study to determine whether a subgroup of IS patients with markers indicating activation of fibrinolytic and coagulation systems might benefit from more aggressive secondary prevention of IS.

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Last updated 04.09.2006

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