Improved neurological recovery of cerebral infarctions after plasmapheretic reduction of lipids and fibrinogen.
High fibrinogen levels have been assessed in cerebrovascular disease with a direct relation to both plasma and whole-blood viscosity, as well as cerebral blood flow. Heparin-induced extracorporeal low density lipoprotein precipitation (HELP) is a new method that safely and effectively reduces fibrinogen and plasma lipoproteins and improves blood flow properties.
We studied 26 patients with acute embolic stroke and 22 with multi-infarct dementia. Each received two treatments with HELP within 8 days. Each patient had measurement of the important blood constituents and evaluation of changes in clinical signs and symptoms related to their cerebrovascular disease.
Each HELP treatment safely produced an immediate and significant reduction in rheological measures, including fibrinogen (P < .001), whole-blood viscosity at high and low shear rates, plasma viscosity, and red cell transit time (P < .01 each). Total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (P < .0001 each), lipoprotein(a) (P < .003), and triglycerides (P < .0001) were also reduced. The treated group in both the acute stroke group and the multi-infarct group showed improvement relative to the untreated control subjects in Mathew scale, Mini-Mental State Examination, and activities of daily living test scores. These uniform improvements persisted at least 3 days past the second HELP treatment.
These results support the hypothesis that the improved hemorheologic property of blood is an important factor in clinical recovery as well as basic neurological function.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association