Background: Recently, the role of free fatty acids (FFAs) in thromboembolism has re-emerged in the context of cardioembolic stroke. Therefore, we attempted to determine the role of FFAs in embolic risk in various potential sources of cardioembolism (PSCE). We hypothesized that if elevated FFA levels in stroke patients are associated with thrombogenesis, then patients with a well-known high risk of embolic sources would have high FFA levels. Methods: Data collected from 2 hospital-based stroke registries were analyzed to investigate the association between FFA and PSCE. Results: A total of 2,770 acute stroke patients, including 539 with cardioembolic stroke, were selected for analysis. FFA was an independent predictor for cardioembolism (OR 2.755, 95% CI 2.221-3.417, p < 0.001). Among the PSCE, FFA levels were significantly associated with high risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), valvular heart disease, congestive heart failure with low ejection fraction, left atrial thrombus, left ventricular thrombus, left atrial smoke, and ventricular wall motion abnormality. FFA levels increased with the number of PSCE per patient without interaction with the presence of AF. Conclusions: Among acute stroke patients, FFA levels increased in groups with higher risk of cardioembolic stroke irrespective of the presence of AF. These results suggest that enhanced thrombogenicity could be the main mechanism to explain the elevated FFA levels in patients with cardioembolic stroke.
- Free fatty acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine