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Serum uric acid levels and cerebral microbleeds in patients with acute ischemic stroke

Wi-Sun Ryu, Chi Kyung Kim, Beom Joon Kim, Seung-Hoon Lee
PloS One 2013, 8 (1): e55210
23372838
Unlike experimental studies indicating a neuroprotective property of uric acid, clinical studies have shown that elevated levels of uric acid are associated with a risk of ischemic stroke. However, the association of uric acid with cerebral hemorrhage has seldom been tested. We aimed to elucidate the association between uric acid and cerebral microbleeds (CMBs), a hemorrhage-prone cerebral microangiopathy. Seven hundred twenty-four patients with ischemic stroke who were consecutively admitted to our hospital were included in this study. We collected demographic, clinical, and laboratory data, including uric acid level, and examined the presence of CMBs using T2*-weighted gradient-echo MRI. We used logistic regression analysis to examine an independent association between uric acid and CMBs. Two-hundred twenty-six patients had CMBs (31.2%). After adjusting for possible confounders, elevated uric acid was independently associated with the presence of CMBs (the highest quartile vs. lowest quartile, adjusted odd ratio [OR], 1.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16-3.39). This association retained in patients with deep or infratentorial CMBs (with or without lobar CMBs) but not among those with lobar CMBs. In addition, this association was robust among patients with hypertension (the highest quartile vs. lowest quartile, adjusted OR, 2.74; 95% CI, 1.43-5.24). In contrast, we did not find the association in patients without hypertension. We demonstrated that serum uric acid is independently associated with the presence of CMBs. In particular, the relation between uric acid and CMBs was robust in hypertensive patients.

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