3-Methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol is known to be a principal metabolite of brain norepinephrine and to be released into the blood and cerebrospinal fluid in association with activation of the central noradrenergic system. We examined changes in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol during acute stroke to see if there might be a correlation between these and the patient's clinical state.
We measured plasma levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol in 32 control subjects and in 50 patients with brain hemorrhage and 57 patients with brain infarction who were admitted to the hospital within 72 hours after onset. In addition, we estimated 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid of 37 patients with brain infarction and eight control patients.
Mean +/- SEM values for plasma 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol in the patients with brain hemorrhage and those with brain infarction were 7.3 +/- 0.5 and 6.6 +/- 0.5 ng/ml, respectively. Both values were significantly higher than that obtained in the 32 control subjects (4.6 +/- 0.3 ng/ml, p less than 0.01). Plasma levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol correlated well with state of consciousness and prognosis. The mean +/- SEM level of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol in the cerebrospinal fluid of the 37 patients with brain infarction (10.9 +/- 0.6 ng/ml) was also significantly higher than that in the eight control patients (7.9 +/- 0.6 ng/ml, p less than 0.01).
The observed increase in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol implies that the activity of the central noradrenergic neurons may be enhanced at the onset of stroke, and these levels may be related to some extent to the clinical state and prognosis of stroke patients.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association