Protein C in acute stroke.
The plasma concentrations of protein C, an anticoagulant protein, and fibrinopeptide A were measured in 37 patients with acute hemispheric stroke and in age-matched controls with nonvascular neurologic diseases. In 11 stroke patients who died within 15 days after the onset (nonsurvivors) protein C antigen concentration on admission was lower than in the control group (p less than 0.005), with a mean value of 63% of the concentrations found in the 26 survivors (p less than 0.001). The difference in protein C concentrations was not associated with different prothrombin time ratios and serum albumin concentration in survivors and nonsurvivors of stroke and was independent of the size of the cerebral lesion. Increased fibrinopeptide A concentration on admission was found in all stroke patients (p less than 0.001), but it was higher in nonsurvivors than in survivors (p less than 0.01), suggesting that lower protein C concentrations in nonsurvivors might be due to increased thrombin-dependent protein C activation. In survivors, protein C concentration was slightly but significantly higher than in controls (p less than 0.05) and was unchanged 2 months after stroke, a time when fibrinopeptide A concentrations had returned to normal. These results show that protein C is involved in the hemostatic derangement caused by stroke and provide a rationale for clinical trials evaluating the therapeutic supplementation with protein C of patients with acute ischemic stroke.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association