Prognostic markers for ischemic stroke – are they truly reliable?
Background. Stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Despite extensive research, to this date there is no panel of biomarkers for the prevention and prognosis of ischemic stroke and there is still much incomplete and insufficiently researched information.
Aim. We conducted a prospective, observational study between January and June 2020. The main objective of this study was to clarify the role of inflammation markers, i.e. neutrophil/ lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR), high-sensitivity C – reactive protein (hsCRP) in ischemic stroke and whether there is or not a correlation between these markers and carotid stenosis.
Study design. In the study we included 150 subjects divided in two groups: study group – 100 subjects and control group – 50 subjects.
Methods. Data collected during the research (at the time of patient admission): 1) biological sample: 5 ml of peripheral blood were collected in a vial with clot activator and separating gel, from which the following laboratory tests were performed: hsCRP, neutrophils, lymphocytes, platelets. NLR and PLR were subsequently calculated as the ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes, respectively platelets and lymphocytes), 2) paraclinical examinations: extracranial carotid Doppler ultrasound examination.
Results. The results were impressive: high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP), neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR) were strongly, respectively moderately correlated with the severity of stroke (the severity being established with the NIHS (National Institute of Health Stroke) score. None of the inflammation markers included in the present study was correlated with carotid stenosis.
Conclusion. hsCRP, NLR and PLR may potentially be prognostic markers for ischemic stroke, being of major help in preventing its possible complications.