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Original Contribution
January 2010

Strong Independent Correlation of Proteinuria With Cerebral Microbleeds in Patients With Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Stroke Center and Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center.

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(1):45-50. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.310

Objective  To assess the association of proteinuria with the frequency and number of cerebral microbleeds (CMB), a harbinger of future hemorrhagic stroke.

Design  Cross-sectional analysis.

Patients  Patients with consecutive ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack admitted to a university hospital during a 22-month period.

Interventions  Presence and number of CMB were evaluated using gradient-echo T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Multivariable models were generated to determine the contribution of proteinuria to the frequency and number of CMB after adjusting for confounders.

Results  Of 236 patients (mean age, 70 years; 53% female), 72 (31%) had CMB present on gradient-echo imaging and 89 (38%) had evidence of proteinuria. In multivariable analyses with presence of CMB as the outcome, higher urinary protein (odds ratio [OR], 2.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-4.95), being female (OR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.19-4.49), history of atrial fibrillation (OR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.14-5.44), elevated serum homocysteine (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.09-1.29), and small-vessel disease subtype (OR, 2.95 95% CI, 1.43-6.10) were all significantly associated with presence of CMB. Logistic regression analysis by number of CMB showed similar findings.

Conclusions  Proteinuria is strongly associated with both the frequency and number of CMB in patients with recent cerebral ischemia. Urinary protein excretion may be a CMB risk marker or potential therapeutic target for mitigating the untoward clinical sequela of CMB.