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Higher Serum Calcium Linked to Smaller Infarct Volumes

Serum calcium level could serve as prognostic factor in patients with acute ischemic stroke

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute ischemic stroke, those with the highest serum calcium levels had the smallest infarct volume, according to a report published in the September issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Brian H. Buck, M.D., of the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues analyzed data from 173 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke to assess the relationship between serum calcium levels and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging infarct volumes.

Among the patients, who had a mean age of 70.3 and mean calcium level of 8.95 mg/dL (normal range 7.60-10.40), the researchers detected an inverse relationship between serum calcium level and infarct volume. After adjustment for confounding factors, median infarct volumes for serum calcium level quartiles (lowest to highest) were 8.9, 5.8, 4.5, and 3.8 mL. There was a statistically significant difference between median infarct volume in the lowest serum calcium quartile and those in the upper three quartiles.

"Higher serum calcium levels at admission are associated with smaller cerebral infarct volumes among patients with acute ischemic stroke. These results suggest that serum calcium level may serve as a clinical prognosticator following stroke and may be a potential therapeutic target for improving stroke outcome," the authors conclude.

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