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Increased TMEM166 level in patients with postoperative stroke after carotid endarterectomy.

Neuroscience 2024 May 10
Postoperative stroke is a challenging and potentially devastating complication after elective carotid endarterectomy (CEA). We previously demonstrated that transmembrane protein 166 (TMEM166) levels were directly related to neuronal damage after cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. In this subsequent clinical study, we aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of TMEM166 in patients suffering from post-CEA strokes. Thirty-five patients undergoing uncomplicated elective CEA and 8 patients who suffered ischemic strokes after CEA were recruited. We evaluated the protein level and expression of TMEM166 in patients diagnosed with postoperative strokes and compared it to those in patients who underwent uncomplicated elective CEA. Blood samples and carotid artery plaques were collected and analyzed. High expressions of TMEM166 were detected by immunofluorescence staining and Western Blot in carotid artery plaques of all patients who underwent CEA. Furthermore, circulating TMEM166 concentrations were statistically higher in post-CEA stroke patients than in patients allocated to the control group. Mean plasma concentrations of inflammatory markers, including interleukin 6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP), were also elevated in patients with postoperative strokes. Therefore, based on these findings, we hypothesize that elevated TMEM166 levels, accompanied by a strong inflammatory response, serve as a useful biomarker for risk assessment of postoperative stroke following CEA.

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