Serum bilirubin and ischaemic stroke: a review of literature

Stroke Vasc Neurol. 2020 Jun;5(2):198-204. doi: 10.1136/svn-2019-000289. Epub 2020 Mar 5.


Bilirubin, a product of heme metabolism, is the most potent endogenous antioxidant which increases in many oxidative stress conditions such as stroke. It has been widely known to exert neuroprotective effect on stroke through mechanisms involved in development, therefore, it can influence the occurrence and prognosis of ischaemic stroke (IS). In this review, studies were identified by a comprehensive search of Pubmed, Embase, the Cochrane Library (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Cochrane Methodology Register) and Web of Science to examine the correlation between serum bilirubin levels and risks of developing IS as well as IS outcomes. Additional studies were identified by reviewing references and contacting authors.

Keywords: stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bilirubin / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Brain Ischemia / blood*
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / prevention & control
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / blood*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Stroke / therapy


  • Biomarkers
  • Bilirubin