Lp-PLA2 and hs-CRP implicated in study published in Stroke.
A team of investigators report that testing a patient’s blood for two proteins that occur when inflammation is present could help doctors identify which patients are more likely to have a stroke.
Additionally, the two identified biomarkers—lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)—are associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke.
Researchers examined 949 people taking part in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (ARIC), a survey designed to investigate the causes and course of atherosclerosis. Of the group, 183 developed a stroke.
“Adding each biomarker individually to the traditional risk factors for ischemic stroke improved prediction,” according to Vijay Nambi, M.D., assistant professor of medicine-atherosclerosis and vascular medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “However, adding both along with taking into account how the two interact gave the most improvement in prediction.”
The team also worked to determine whether setting a scale for the identification of stroke risk similar to that used in heart attack (low, intermediate, and high) could be valuable. Using traditional risk factors, the scientists defined those patients with a less than 2 % chance of ischemic stroke in the next five years as low risk. Those with a 2–5% chance were defined as intermediate risk, and anyone with greater than a 5% chance were defined as high risk.
When the researchers added the biomarker data to the stroke risk scale, the category changed for some patients. Four percent of people at low risk moved to intermediate risk, and 11% in the intermediate group moved to high risk. A full 33% at high risk moved down to intermediate risk, however.
The study appears online in Stroke.