Background and purpose: Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a component of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. Several studies have shown a relationship between OPG and cardiovascular diseases. We hypothesized that there is a relationship between plasma OPG levels and cerebral small vessel disease (SVD). Methods: Patients diagnosed with their first cerebral ischemic infarction between April 2014 and March 2017 were enrolled. All the enrolled patients were evaluated through the hospital stroke protocol, including routine blood tests, brain imaging, and measuring the plasma OPG levels. The presence and burden of cerebral SVD [cerebral microbleeds (CMBs), asymptomatic lacunar infarction (ALI), high-grade perivascular space (HPVS), high-grade white matter hyperintensity (HWMH)], and total SVD score were assessed through brain magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Of the 270 patients included in our study, 158 (58.5%) were men. The mean age of the patients was 63.8 ± 11.6 years. In multivariable analysis, plasma OPG levels were positively associated with the presence and burden of each cerebral SVD. The odds ratios (OR) of CMBs, ALI, HPVS, and HWMH for the association of OPG per standard deviation (SD) increase were 1.58 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–2.27], 1.40 (95% CI, 1.04–1.88), 1.88 (95% CI, 1.27–2.78), and 1.47 (95% CI, 1.04–2.08), respectively. Plasma OPG levels were positively correlated with total SVD score (beta = 0.211, standard error = 0.061, p-value = 0.009, R2 = 0.275). Conclusions: Plasma OPG levels correlate with the presence and burden of cerebral SVD in patients with acute ischemic stroke.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by grant from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education ( 2021R1F1A1048113 to Tae-Jin Song, 2021R1I1A1A01059868 to Yoonkyung Chang).
- Cerebral small vessel disease