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Stroke subtype among individuals with chronic kidney disease


Background — It is widely accepted that there is a stepwise increase in the risk of acute ischemic stroke with chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, whether the risk of specific ischemic stroke subtypes varies with CKD remains unclear.

Objective — To assess the association between ischemic stroke subtypes (cardioembolic, arterial, lacunar, and other) classified using the Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) and CKD stage.

Design — Retrospective cohort study.

Setting — Ontario, Canada.

Patients — A total of 17 434 adults with an acute ischemic stroke in Ontario, Canada between April 1, 2002 and March 31, 2013, with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measurement or receipt of maintenance dialysis captured in a stroke registry were included.

Measurements — Kidney function categorized as an eGFR of ≥60, 30-59, <30 mL/min/1.73 m2, or maintenance dialysis. Ischemic stroke classified by TOAST included arterial, cardioembolic, lacunar, and other (dissection, prothrombotic state, cortical vein/sinus thrombosis, and vasculitis) types of strokes.

Methods — Adjusted regression models.

Results — In our cohort, 58.9% had an eGFR of ≥60, 34.7% an eGFR of 30-59, 6.0% an eGFR of <30 and 0.5% were on maintenance dialysis (mean age of 73 years; 48% women). Cardioembolic stroke was more common in patients with non-dialysis-dependant CKD (eGFR 30-59: 50.4%, adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.20, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02, 1.44; eGFR<30: 50.6%, OR 1.21, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.44), whereas lacunar stroke was less common (eGFR 30-59: 22.7% OR 0.85, 95% CI: 0.77, 0.93; eGFR <30: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.61, 0.88) compared with those with an eGFR ≥60. In stratified analyses by age and CKD, lacunar strokes were more frequent in those aged less than 65 years, whereas cardioembolic was higher in those aged 65 years and above.

Limitations — TOAST classification was not captured for all patients.

Conclusion — Non-dialysis CKD was associated with a higher risk of cardioembolic stroke, whereas an eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 was associated with a higher risk of lacunar stroke. Detailed stroke subtyping in CKD may therefore provide mechanistic insights and refocus treatment strategies in this high-risk population.



Noor ST, Bota SE, Clarke AE, Petrcich W, Kelly D, Knoll G, Hundemer GL, Canney M, Tanuseputro P, Sood MM. Can J Kidney Health Dis. 2023; Oct 14 [Epub ahead of print].

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