Biochemical markers for blood-brain barrier dysfunction in acute ischemic stroke correlate with evolution and outcome

Eur Neurol. 2011;65(1):23-31. doi: 10.1159/000321965. Epub 2010 Dec 7.


Background/aims: We evaluated the cerebrospinal fluid/serum albumin ratio (AR) and kinetics of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in blood as markers for blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption after acute ischemic stroke.

Methods: The AR was determined in 88 patients with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. MMP-9 was measured on admission, 24, 72 h and 7 days after stroke onset.

Results: The AR was related to stroke severity, the occurrence of stroke progression and the modified Rankin Scale score at month 3. MMP-9 levels on admission were significantly elevated compared to controls and dropped in the first 72 h after stroke, except in patients with stroke progression and larger infarcts in the subacute phase.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that the extent of BBB breakdown in hyperacute stroke relates to initial stroke severity, stroke evolution and long-term outcome. The kinetics of MMP-9 confirm its pivotal role in secondary brain damage after ischemic stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / blood*
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Stroke / blood*
  • Stroke / pathology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Serum Albumin
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9