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Eur J Neurol. 2013 Oct;20(10):1405-10. doi: 10.1111/ene.12201. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

Elevated peripheral leukocyte counts in acute cervical artery dissection.

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1
Department of Neurology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

It has been suggested that inflammation may play a role in the development of cervical artery dissection (CeAD), but evidence remains scarce.

METHODS:

A total of 172 patients were included with acute (< 24 h) CeAD and 348 patients with acute ischaemic stroke (IS) of other (non-CeAD) causes from the Cervical Artery Dissection and Ischemic Stroke Patients (CADISP) study, and 223 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. White blood cell (WBC) counts collected at admission were compared across the three groups.

RESULTS:

Compared with healthy control subjects, CeAD patients and non-CeAD stroke patients had higher WBC counts (P < 0.001). Patients with CeAD had higher WBC counts and were more likely to have WBC > 10 000/μl than non-CeAD stroke patients (38.4% vs. 23.0%, P < 0.001) and healthy controls (38.4% vs. 8.5%, P < 0.001). WBC counts were higher in CeAD (9.4 ± 3.3) than in IS of other causes (large artery atherosclerosis, 8.7 ± 2.3; cardioembolism, 8.2 ± 2.8; small vessel disease, 8.4 ± 2.4; undetermined cause, 8.8 ± 3.1; P = 0.022). After adjustment for age, sex, stroke severity and vascular risk factors in a multiple regression model, elevated WBC count remained associated with CeAD, as compared with non-CeAD stroke patients [odds ratio (OR) = 2.56; 95% CI 1.60-4.11; P < 0.001) and healthy controls (OR = 6.27; 95% CI 3.39-11.61; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Acute CeAD was associated with particularly high WBC counts. Leukocytosis may reflect a pre-existing inflammatory state, supporting the link between inflammation and CeAD.

KEYWORDS:

cervical artery dissection; inflammation; leukocytosis; white blood cell count

PMID:
23879551
DOI:
10.1111/ene.12201
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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