Fibrinogen concentrations predict long-term cognitive outcome in young ischemic stroke patients
Journal article, 2018
Background: Cognitive impairment is frequent after stroke, and young patients may live with this consequence for a long time. Predictors of cognitive outcomes after stroke represent a current gap of knowledge. Objectives: To investigate levels of three hemostatic biomarkers as predictors of long-term cognitive function after stroke. Methods: This longitudinal study included consecutively recruited patients with ischemic stroke at 18-69 years (n = 268). Blood was collected 3 months after index stroke and analyzed for plasma concentrations of fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor (VWF) and tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen. Cognitive function 7 years after index stroke was assessed by the Barrow Neurological Institute Screen for Higher Cerebral Functions (BNIS). Participants with stroke <50 years of age were also examined by the Trail Making Test A and B (n = 41). Associations between biomarker concentrations and cognitive scales were assessed in the whole group and in participants with stroke <50 years of age. Results: The hemostatic biomarkers fibrinogen, VWF and t-PA, were all correlated to total BNIS score, but these associations did not withstand adjustment for confounding factors in the whole group. However, in patients <50 years, we found an independent association between fibrinogen concentrations and total BNIS score (beta(std) = -.27, 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.47 to -0.07) and to performance on the Trail Making Test A (beta(std) = 31, 95% CI, 0.03-0.58). No such association was seen for the Trail Making Test B. Conclusion: High convalescent fibrinogen concentrations were associated with worse long-term cognitive outcomes in ischemic stroke <50 years of age. We propose further investigations of fibrinogen in relation to cognitive function in stroke in the young.