Twenty-four-hour beta-endorphin secretory pattern in stroke patients.
Abnormalities of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis function have been observed frequently in stroke patients. The aim of this study was to investigate plasma beta-endorphin and cortisol 24-hour secretory patterns in patients early after stroke and in the convalescent period to evaluate a possible influence of brain damage on hormonal circadian pattern.
Patients (n = 15; age, 46 to 75 years) were evaluated in the first 24 hours and 10 days after hospital admission for ischemic cerebral stroke and compared with 15 age- and sex-matched normal subjects. Blood samples for beta-endorphin and cortisol determination were drawn every 4 hours from 8 AM to 8 PM and every 2 hours from midnight to 6 AM.
Mean 24-hour beta-endorphin and cortisol levels, recorded in the acute phase, were significantly (P < .05) higher than those recorded in normal subjects; circadian rhythm was not demonstrable for either hormone. In the convalescent period, plasma cortisol 24-hour mean values and circadian rhythm returned to the normal range, whereas the plasma beta-endorphin 24-hour mean values and circadian rhythm did not.
Cerebral stroke induces abnormalities of beta-endorphin and cortisol circadian secretion. Whereas cortisol abnormalities are transient, those of beta-endorphin last longer. The dissociation between beta-endorphin and cortisol 24-hour secretory patterns might potentially serve as a marker of psychoneurological abnormalities occurring after stroke.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association