Background: Large population studies have revealed that increased von Willebrand Factor (VWF) levels are associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke. In previous studies VWF was associated with atherosclerosis in healthy individuals. However, it is yet unknown what the association is between atherosclerosis and VWF levels in patients with ischemic stroke. Objectives: The aim of our study was to determine the association of atherosclerosis, measured with recent developed techniques, and VWF levels in a large, well characterized, cohort of ischemic stroke patients and to determine the prognostic value. Methods: We included 925 consecutive patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) or ischemic stroke. Calcification volumes (mm(3)) were scored in the aortic arch and both carotid arteries using multidetector computed tomography (CT) angiography. VWF antigen (VWF: Ag) levels were measured using ELISA. Results: Mean VWF: Ag levels were significantly higher in the presence of calcification in either the aortic arch (1.47 vs. 1.37 IU/ml [P = 0.039]) or the carotid arteries (1.49 vs. 1.34 IU/ml [P = 0.001]). Patients with a large artery atherosclerosis ischemic stroke had significantly higher VWF: Ag levels then the other TOAST subtypes (P < 0.0001). High VWF: Ag levels were associated with an unfavorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale >2 vs. <= 2; 1.64 vs. 1.41 IU/ml, [P < 0.0001]). Conclusion: Our study showed a strong association between the extent of atherosclerosis in both the aortic arch and the carotid arteries and VWF levels in patients with TIA or ischemic stroke. Higher VWF levels are found in large artery atherosclerosis and are associated with a poor outcome. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|