Contribution of routine cardiac biological markers to the etiological workup of ischemic stroke

BACKGROUND Optimization of the detection of atrial fibrillation following stroke is mandatory. Unfortunately, access to long-term cardiac monitoring is limited in many centers. The aim of this study was to assess the potential usefulness of three routine biological markers, troponin, D-dimers and BNP, measured in acute stroke phase in the selection of patients at risk of cardio-embolic stroke.
METHODS Troponin, D-Dimers and BNP were measured within 48 h after admission for ischemic stroke in 634 patients. Stroke mechanism was defined at the 3 months follow-up visit using ASCOD classification using a standardized work-up. Association between clinical, radiological and biological markers and stroke mechanism was evaluated using logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS 159 patients (25.1% of total study population) had a cardiac mechanism. On multivariate analysis, admission initial stroke severity (OR 1.04, 95 CI% 1.004-1.07, p < 0.05) history of heart failure (OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.19-7.73, p < 0.05), ECG abnormalities and high BNP value (OR 4.34, 95% CI 2.59-7.29, p < 0.05) were associated with pure cardiac stroke mechanism.
CONCLUSION High BNP value measured within 48 h after stroke admission is an independent predictor of cardiac stroke mechanism. Its measurement might be used to improve the selection of patients for whom further cardiologic investigations such as continuous long term ECG monitoring would be the most useful. BNP should be added to the standard admission-work-up for stroke patients.

as reported in: Am J Emerg Med. 2019 Feb; 37(2): 194-198