Aim: Concentrations of osteoprotegerin (OPG) have been associated with the presence of vascular and cardiovascular diseases, but the knowledge of this marker in the setting of ischaemic stroke is limited.
Methods and results: In 244 patients with acute ischaemic stroke (age: 69 +/- 13 years), samples of OPG were obtained serially from presentation to day 5. Patients with overt ischaemic heart disease and atrial fibrillation were excluded. The patients were followed for 47 months, with all-cause mortality as the sole end-point. Multivariable predictors of OPG values at presentation included haemoglobin (T = -2.82; P = 0.005), creatinine (T = 4.56; P < 0.001), age (T = 9.66; P < 0.001), active smoking (T = 2.25; P = 0.025) and pulse rate (T = 3.23; P = 0.001). At follow-up 72 patients (29%) had died. Patients with OPG < or =2945 pg mL(-1) at baseline had a significantly improved survival rate on univariate analysis (P < 0.0001); other time-points did not add further prognostic information. In multivariate analysis, after adjustment for age, stroke severity, C-reactive protein levels, troponin T levels, heart and renal failure concentrations of OPG independently predicted long-term mortality after stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1 to 4.9; P = 0.024).
Conclusion: Osteoprotegerin concentrations measured at admission of acute ischaemic stroke are associated with long-term mortality.