Ischemic stroke is caused by a sudden neurological defect following a vascular occlusion and elicits a local and systemic inflammation in brain tissue. Interleukin-38 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine associated with ischemic and inflammatory diseases. This study was designed to analyze the effect of tPA therapy on interleukin-38 serum level changes and the serum level of IL-38 in the prognosis of ischemic stroke patients in the next three months.
We enrolled 29 ischemic stroke patients confirmed by a neurologist based on radiologic and clinical manifestation between 2019 September to 2020 February. The patients who had NIHSS more than 6 with no underlying inflammatory diseases were selected for tPA therapy. On admission and 24 h after tPA therapy, the IL-38 serum level was measured by ELISA kit.
The results showed that serum levels of IL-38 were significantly increased after tPA therapy (P < 0.001). A remarkable relationship was observed between the modified Rankin Score (mRS) and IL-38 serum changes in response to tPA therapy (P < 0.001). Besides, IL-38 serum changes following tPA were dramatically related to NIHSS at hospitalization (P = 0.007). Also, our analysis posed a positive relation between NIHSS at hospitalization and mRs criteria (P = 0.023). No notable relation has been observed between IL-38 serum levels before and after tPA and mRs (P = 0.601 and P = 0.074, respectively). Furthermore, there was no evidence for the relation between NIHSS at hospitalization and IL-38 levels before and after tPA (P = 0.457 and P = 0.105, respectively).
The results indicate that tPA could meaningfully increase the IL-38 serum level. Also, a negative correlation has been found between IL-38 serum changes in response to tPA and mRS. Since the lower changes in IL-38 serum level result in a poorer prognosis, we conclude that IL-38 serum changes might be a novel early predictor factor for ischemic stroke prognosis.

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