Cardioembolic and Small Vessel Disease Stroke Show Differences in Associations between Systemic C3 Levels and Outcome

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Background:Activation of the complement system has been proposed to play a role in the pathophysiology of stroke. As the specific involvement of the complement proteins may be influenced by stroke etiology, we compared plasma C3 and C3a levels in patients with cardioembolic (CE) and small vessel disease (SVD) subtypes of ischemic stroke and control subjects and evaluated their association to outcome at three months and two years.Methodology/Principal Findings:Plasma C3 and C3a levels in 79 CE and 79 SVD stroke patients, sampled within 10 days and at three months after stroke, and age- and sex-matched control subjects from The Sahlgrenska Academy Study on Ischemic Stroke were measured by ELISA. Functional outcome was assesed with modified Rankin Scale. In the CE group, plasma C3 levels were elevated only in the acute phase, whereas C3a was elevated at both time points. The follow-up phase plasma C3 levels in the upper third were associated with an increased risk of unfavorable outcome at three months (OR 7.12, CI 1.72-29.46, P = 0.007) as well as after two years (OR 8.25, CI 1.61-42.28, P = 0.011) after stroke. These associations withstand adjustment for age and sex. Conversely, three-month follow-up plasma C3a/C3 level ratios in the middle third were associated with favorable outcome after two years both in the univariate analysis (OR 0.19, CI 0.05-0.82, P = 0.026) and after adjustment for age and sex (OR 0.19, CI 0.04-0.88, P = 0.033). In the SVD group, plasma C3 and C3a levels were elevated at both time points but showed no significant associations with outcome.Conclusions:Plasma C3 and C3a levels are elevated after CE and SVD stroke but show associations with outcome only in CE stroke. © 2013 Stokowska et al.




Stokowska, A., Olsson, S., Holmegaard, L., Jood, K., Blomstrand, C., Jern, C., & Pekna, M. (2013). Cardioembolic and Small Vessel Disease Stroke Show Differences in Associations between Systemic C3 Levels and Outcome. PLoS ONE, 8(8).

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