Serum cytokine and glucose levels as predictors of poststroke fatigue in acute ischemic stroke patients

J Neurol. 2011 Apr;258(4):670-6. doi: 10.1007/s00415-011-5962-8. Epub 2011 Mar 2.


Fatigue is a common but often overlooked symptom after stroke. This study investigated whether stroke type, infarct volume, and laterality, as well as the levels of various cytokines and other blood components in the acute phase of acute ischemic stroke (AIS), can predict the level of fatigue at 6, 12, and 18 months after its onset. In 45 patients with acute stroke, serum levels of C-reactive protein, hemoglobin, glucose, and 13 cytokines were measured within 72 h of stroke onset. The cytokine measurements were performed using BioPlex XMap technology (Luminex). The acute serum levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and glucose were positively correlated with the score on the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) at 6 months after the stroke (r = 0.37, p = 0.015, and r = 0.37, p = 0.017, respectively). The acute serum levels of IL-ra and IL-9 were negatively correlated with FSS score at 12 months after the stroke (r = -0.38, p = 0.013, and r = -0.36, p = 0.019, respectively). The FSS score at 12 months after stroke was significantly lower in patients with radiologically confirmed infarction than in those without such confirmation (p = 0.048). The FSS score at 18 months was not correlated with any of the measured variables. High acute serum levels of glucose and IL-1β, and low IL1-ra and IL-9 may predict fatigue after AIS, indicating that the development of poststroke fatigue can be accounted for by the proinflammatory response associated with AIS. These novel findings support a new cytokine theory of fatigue after stroke. However, more research is needed to validate the results of this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Fatigue / blood*
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cytokines
  • Hemoglobins
  • C-Reactive Protein