Elevated Neutrophil and Presence of Intracranial Artery Stenosis Increase the Risk of Recurrent Stroke

Stroke. 2018 Oct;49(10):2294-2300. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.022126.


Background and Purpose- The association of neutrophil and intracranial artery stenosis (ICAS) with the prognosis of stroke is uncertain. This study evaluated the relationship between neutrophil levels with and without ICAS and the prognosis of patients with minor stroke or transient ischemic attack. Methods- Data from the CHANCE trial (Clopidogrel in High-Risk Patients With Acute Nondisabling Cerebrovascular Events) was reviewed. Patients were divided into 4 groups according to the dichotomy of neutrophil counts and status of ICAS. The primary outcome was a new stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic), and secondary outcomes included a new composite vascular event (stroke, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular death) and ischemic stroke. Safety outcome was any hemorrhage at 90 days. The association between neutrophil counts with and without ICAS and risk of any outcome was analyzed by Cox regression models. Results- Of 1034 patients included in this subgroup analysis, 91 had recurrent strokes. Compared with the lower neutrophil levels without ICAS, higher neutrophil levels with ICAS significantly increased the risk of stroke recurrence (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.19-4.31; P=0.01) and composite outcome (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.06-3.67; P=0.03). However, there was no safety issue. Conclusions- Concomitant presence of higher neutrophil levels and ICAS was associated with the increased risk of stroke recurrence, and combined adverse outcome events in patients already had minor ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT00979589.

Keywords: brain ischemia; humans; neutrophils; prognosis; risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications
  • Cerebral Infarction / drug therapy
  • Clopidogrel / therapeutic use
  • Constriction, Pathologic / complications
  • Constriction, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / cytology*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / drug therapy*


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Clopidogrel

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00979589