Stroke has become the second most common cause of death. Several biomarkers have been detected in the peripheral blood from stroke patients, but none has found a place in clinical practice. Cell-free DNA
(cf-DNA) liberated into the blood soon after the onset of stroke might be useful for assessing disease severity and prognosis.
Study Design and Methods:
A total of 54 patients presenting with ischemic stroke were recruited consecutively with the exclusion of patients having trauma, tumor, infections, and organ failure. The cf-DNA was extracted by circulating nucleic acid kit from Qiagen and measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay for β-globin gene. The primary outcome measure was poststroke modified Rankin scale Score at 3 months after the onset of symptoms.
Higher cf-DNA levels were associated with severity at the time of admission measured by National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (P
=0.003) and poor outcome as measured by modified Rankin scale 3-month scores (P
=0.001). Therapeutic intervention in the form of a mechanical thrombectomy
or IV thrombolysis
was associated with improved outcome in patients with cf-DNA<10,000 kilogenome-equivalents/L (P≤
cf-DNA level correlates well with the severity of stroke at admission and long-term prognosis. It can be used as an additional marker to predict the outcome of therapeutic intervention.