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Stroke. 2000 Aug;31(8):1889-92.

Oxidative stress in the context of acute cerebrovascular stroke.

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Departments of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Egypt.



Free radical generation and consequent oxidative stress in thrombotic cerebrovascular stroke have a distinctive role in the pathogenesis of ischemic brain injury. One of the potential injurious effects of homocyst(e)ine in occlusive vascular diseases is free radical generation. In the current study, we investigated the status of oxidant stress in the acute phase of thrombotic cerebrovascular stroke and the possible role of homocyst(e)ine.


We determined levels of plasma homocyst(e)ine, lipid peroxide, ascorbic acid, superoxide dismutase, and nitric oxide in 30 patients with thrombotic cerebrovascular stroke within 2 days of the onset of the attack as well as in 22 healthy volunteers of comparable age and gender.


Statistically significant elevation of homocyst(e)ine (P<0. 001), lipid peroxide (P<0.001), and nitric oxide (P<0.001) plasma levels were observed in stroke patients compared with healthy controls. On the other hand, the antioxidant ascorbic acid plasma levels were significantly lower in the patient group compared with healthy control subjects (P<0.001). Meanwhile, superoxide dismutase plasma levels were not statistically different in either groups. The study also revealed a significant and strong positive correlation between homocyst(e)ine and lipid peroxide (r=0.85, P<0.001). Ascorbic acid plasma levels were significantly negatively correlated with both homocyst(e)ine (r=-0.875, P<0.001) and lipid peroxide (r=-0.576, P<0.001). The nitric oxide level was positively correlated with superoxide dismutase (r=0.396, P<0.05).


We conclude that hyperhomocyst(e)inemia is a possible causal factor in free radical generation during the acute phase of thrombotic cerebrovascular stroke. Pharmacological intervention could potentially be beneficial in this setting and warrants further evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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