Early signaling of inflammation in acute ischemic stroke: Clinical and rheological implications

Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty, Einor Ben Assayag, Irena Bova, Ludmila Shopin, Shlomo Berliner, Itzhak Shapira, Natan M. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Several studies have highlighted the role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) as an early signal of the inflammatory response following acute ischemic stroke. This study examines the potential advantage of employing high-sensitivity (hs)-IL-6 as a possible biomarker at the early stages of acute stroke for identifying an acute phase response and its potential rheological and clinical implications. Methods: Venous blood was obtained from 186 stroke patients within 24 h of hospital admission and 3-5 days thereafter in order to characterize an inflammatory and hemorheological profile (including erythrocyte aggregation). Neurological state was assessed by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the modified Rankin scale (mRs). Results: While most biomarkers displayed elevated concentrations with time, serum concentrations of hs-IL-6 declined 3-5 days following acute stroke. Initially elevated levels of hs-IL-6 at presentation further correlated with unfavorable clinical outcomes (by NIHSS and mRs) at both time points. Analysis of variance in the different quartiles identified an hs-IL-6 gradient-dependent correlation at both time points, such that the higher the initial hs-IL-6 concentration, the higher the elevation in inflammatory biomarkers and the poorer the neurological state at both time points (p < 0.001 for NIHSS and p = 0.001 for mRs, for trend across quartiles). Conclusions: This study demonstrates the potential of employing hs-IL-6 as an early stage biomarker for the prognosis of acute ischemic stroke. Such an advance would provide the means to identify at an early stage the patients who would require closer clinical surveillance and/or administration of therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalThrombosis Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Erythrocyte aggregation
  • High-sensitivity interleukin-6
  • Inflammation
  • Stroke


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