Background Stroke in cancer patients is not rare but is a devastating event with high mortality. However, the predictors of mortality in stroke patients with cancer have not been well addressed. Ddimer could be a useful predictor because it can reflect both thromboembolic events and advanced stages of cancer. Aim In this study, we evaluate the possibility of D-dimer as a predictor of 30-day mortality in stroke patients with active cancer. Methods We included 210 ischemic stroke patients with active cancer. The 30-day mortality data were collected by reviewing medical records. We also collected follow-up D-dimer levels in 106 (50%) participants to evaluate the effects of treatment response on D-dimer levels. Results Of the 210 participants, 30-day mortality occurred in 28 (13%) patients. Higher initial NIHSS scores, D-dimer levels, and CRP levels as well as frequent cryptogenic mechanism, systemic metastasis, multiple vascular territory lesion, hemorrhagic transformation, and larger infarct volume were related to 30-day mortality. In the multivariate analysis, D-dimer [adjusted OR (aOR) = 2.19; 95% CI, 1.46±3.28, P < 0.001] predicted 30-day mortality after adjusting for confounders. The initial NIHSS score (aOR = 1.07; 95% CI, 1.00±1.14, P = 0.043) and hemorrhagic transformation (aOR = 3.02; 95% CI, 1.10±8.29, P = 0.032) were also significant independent of D-dimer levels. In the analysis of D-dimer changes after treatment, the mortality group showed no significant decrease in D-dimer levels, despite treatment, while the survivor group showed the opposite response. Conclusions D-dimer levels may predict 30-day mortality in acute ischemic stroke patients with active cancer.
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