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New Marker Found for Stroke Patients' Bleeding Risk

Spanish study pinpoints one cell-regulating protein as key

THURSDAY, May 27, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- High blood levels of the cell-regulating protein called cellular fibronectin (c-Fn) can help doctors identify acute ischemic stroke patients who have an increased risk of bleeding in the brain.

That's the finding of a Spanish study published May 27 in the online issue of Stroke.

Bleeding is the most serious complication resulting from the use of clot-busting therapy when treating stroke patients. So being able to identify patients at risk for bleeding can help improve the risk-benefit ratio of using clot-busting therapy.

"This study demonstrates that blood c-Fn levels are significantly higher in patients in whom bleeding develops after clot-busting therapy. Therefore, it might be a useful marker of those patients who are at greatest risk of thrombolytic treatment," study author and neurologist Dr. Mar Castellanos of Hospital Universitari Doctor Josep Trueta in Girona, said in a prepared statement.

He and his colleagues found c-Fn levels of at least 3.6 micrograms per milliliter of blood predicted the development of bleeding with perfect accuracy.

The study included 87 people with ischemic stroke treated at hospital within six hours after the start of their stroke symptoms.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about stroke.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, May 27, 2004
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