Red blood cell distribution width in patients with cryptogenic stroke

Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2015 Apr;21(3):241-5. doi: 10.1177/1076029614547262. Epub 2014 Aug 25.


Background: There is no information about a possible association of red blood cell distribution width (RDW) with cryptogenic stroke (CS). We aimed to analyze the association of RDW with CS.

Patients and methods: One hundred and sixty-three patients with CS were included along with 186 healthy controls. Fibrinogen, leukocytes, hemoglobin, and erythrocyte indices were evaluated.

Results: Patients showed higher RDW, leukocyte count, and body mass index (BMI) than controls (P < .05). No differences were observed in the erythrocyte indices or in glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides levels (P > .05). When patients with anemia were excluded from the study (6 controls and 5 cases), the differences between cases and controls persisted (P = .005). Multivariate logistic regression revealed that, after adjusting for potential confounders (anemia, age > 40 years, gender, and fibrinogen >382 mg/dL, total cholesterol >240 mg/dL, and BMI > 28.7 kg/m(2)), RDW >14% was the only parameter that independently increased the risk of CS.

Conclusion: The RDW >14% increased the risk of CS by 2.5-fold, irrespectively of anemia, inflammation, and lipidic profile.

Keywords: anemia; cryptogenic stroke; hematimetric indices; inflammation; lipids; red blood cell distribution width.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Erythrocyte Indices*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol