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J Neurol. 2009 Dec;256(12):2003-8. doi: 10.1007/s00415-009-5228-x.

C-reactive protein in the very early phase of acute ischemic stroke: association with poor outcome and death.

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Department of Neurology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Acute ischemic stroke may trigger an inflammatory response that leads to increased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). High levels of CRP may be associated with poor outcome because they reflect either an inflammatory reaction or tissue damage. We evaluated the prognostic value of CRP within 12 h of onset of ischemic stroke. Levels of CRP were routinely obtained within 12 h of symptom onset in 561 patients with ischemic stroke. CRP values were dichotomized as <7 or ≥7 mg/L. The full range of CRP values was used to detect a possible level-risk relationship. We studied the relation between CRP values and poor outcome (modified Rankin Scale score >2) or death at 3 months. A multiple logistic regression model was applied to adjust for age, sex, NIHSS score, current cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, statin use, and stroke subtype. After adjustment for potential confounders, patients with CRP levels ≥7 mg/L had a significantly increased risk of poor outcome (adjusted OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.4) or death (adjusted OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0–2.9) at 3 months. In addition, the risk of poor outcome or death at 3 months increased with higher levels of CRP. CRP within 12 h of ischemic stroke is an independent prognostic factor of poor outcome at 3 months.

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