To investigate the role of circulating intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and E-selectin in ischaemic stroke, serum levels of ICAM-1 and E-selectin were measured by ELISA in 51 patients with acute ischaemic stroke within 24 h, and in 25 age-matched healthy controls and 10 young healthy volunteers. Carotid Doppler ultrasonography showed a significant stenosis (> 50%) of the carotid or vertebrobasilar artery in 11 of 51 stroke patients. Serum levels of ICAM-1 [mean (SE)I were higher (P <0.01) in patients with ischaemic stroke [381 (30) ng/ml] than in age-matched controls [271 (27) ng/ml] and young controls [246 (6) ng/ml]. There was no significant difference in serum E-selectin levels [mean (SE)] among stroke patients, age-matched and young controls [47 (6), 39 (3), and 41 (3) ng/ml, respectively; P = NS]. The leucocyte count [mean (SD)] was higher (P <0.01) in patients with ischaemic stroke [8310 (2800)] than in age-matched controls [6040 (930)]. Serum levels of ICAM-1 and E-selectin did not significantly differ between patients with or without abnormal carotid or vertebrobasilar artery disease. In conclusion, serum ICAM-1 level and leucocyte count were elevated in acute ischaemic stroke within 24 h, while the E-selectin level did not change significantly. This finding suggests that adhesion molecules may play an important role in the post-rolling process of leucocyte-endothelial cell interaction in acute ischaemic stroke.
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