Objective Although adiponectin is a major adipocytokine that affects the pathogenesis of various cardiovascular diseases, its clinical significance in stroke remains controversial. We investigated the clinical significance of plasma adiponectin for the diagnosis, neurological severity and functional outcomes of patients with ischemic stroke. Methods We prospectively enrolled 171 patients with ischemic stroke and 171 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Blood samples and clinical information were obtained at day 0, 3, 7, 14 and 90 after stroke onset. Results Average adiponectin values at day 0 did not significantly differ between the controls and the patients, but were significantly lower and higher in patients with atherothrombotic brain (ATBI) (p = 0.047) and cardioembolic (CE) (p = 0.008) infarction, respectively, than in the controls. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that the adiponectin value at day 0 could predict ATBI (odds ratio, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, 0.58 to 0.91, p = 0.009, per 1-μg/mL increase). Adiponectin values at day 0 were positively associated with neurological severity as evaluated by the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale upon admission (r = 0.420, p = 0.003) and were higher in the groups with poor outcomes (modified Rankin Scale (mRS) ≥ 3 on day 90) than in those with good ones (mRS ≤ 2) in all stroke subtypes, with statistical significance in ATBI (p = 0.015). Conclusions Plasma adiponectin values may help to classify stroke subtypes and predict neurological severity and functional outcome in ischemic stroke patients.
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