Stroke Risk Causing Factors

A blood test could reveal which stroke patients are at risk for bleeding in the brain. The new research reveals a cell-regulating protein is higher in patients at a greater risk for this bleeding.

The only currently approved treatment for ischemic stroke is tissue plasminogen activator. While tPA can be beneficial, it has been associated with the risk of bleeding in the brain. Research suggests tPA may cause damage to the cells that line the inner walls of the blood vessels.

Study authors say a protein in the blood called cellular fibronectin, or c-Fn, promotes cell-to-cell interaction. Researchers studied patients who had an ischemic stroke to determine causing factors of bleeding in the brain.

The study included 87 patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke. The patients underwent blood tests and computed tomography (CT) scans. Researchers looked for if and when the damaged brain tissue begins to leak blood. They say 30 percent of the patients developed bleeding. They found the blood levels for c-Fn was significantly higher in patients with bleeding than those who did not develop bleeding.

“This manuscript provides important information which may significantly change the manner in which patient with acute ischemic stroke are treated,” says Marc Mayberg, M.D., chairman of the American Heart Association Stroke Council. “By identifying a blood marker for patients with a higher risk of hemorrhagic conversion after tPA, it should be possible to give tPA with a greater level of confidence and reduce the overall risk profile.”

SOURCE: To be published in an upcoming issue of the journal, Stroke

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