Blood rheology in patients with transient ischemic attacks.
A complete ischemic stroke is associated with a significant hemorheologic disturbance leading to a rise of the viscous component of the peripheral resistance. This abnormality represents a consequence of the acute event. Nonetheless, it could be causally related to ischemia. In an attempt to clarify this question, 26 patients suffering from transient ischemic attacks were compared with controls in terms of blood and plasma viscosity, hematocrit, blood cell filterability, and erythrocyte aggregation. In patients there was a significant impairment of blood fluidity comprising plasma viscosity, blood cell filterability, and erythrocyte aggregation, suggesting that the flow properties of blood are jeopardized even before an acute stroke. Most likely this is due to the underlying arteriosclerotic process. Our results open the way to speculating that hemorheologic mechanisms might predispose to the development of a stroke by decreasing cerebral blood flow. If this hypothesis were true, it would have important therapeutic implications.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association