Microalbuminuria is a frequent finding in several acute clinical conditions and predicts poor outcome; its role in acute ischemic stroke, however, is unknown. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence and predictive power of microalbuminuria in acute stroke patients and to establish the relationship between microalbuminuria and the patients’ clinical status. We studied 60 patients admitted within 24 h of their first ischemic stroke, 50 patients with a history of ischemic stroke, and 30 control subjects without known cerebrovascular diseases. Neurological deficit was assessed by the Scandinavian Stroke Scale (SSS) on admission and on days 1, 7, 14, and 30. Urinary albumin excretion was measured using immunonephelometric method, with 24-hour collections performed on day 2. Outcome was assessed by 30-day, 90-day and 1-year mortality. Microalbuminuria was found in 46.7% of patients with acute stroke, 16% of subjects with a history of stroke, and 16.7% of controls. On admission, acute stroke patients with microalbuminuria had more severe neurological deficit (median of SSS score on admission was 28 vs. 40, and on day 1, 22 vs. 39, both p < 0.05; Mann-Whitney U test) and more often had a decreased level of consciousness (32 vs. 10%, p < 0.05; Fisher exact test). Mortality was higher in the group of patients with microalbuminuria in acute stroke (21 vs. 3% after 30 days, 39 vs. 6% after 90 days and 50 vs. 9% after 1 year, p < 0.05 for all differences; Fisher exact test). In logistic regression analysis, microalbuminuria was found to be an independent predictor of 1-year mortality after ischemic stroke (OR = 6.0; p = 0.022; 95% CI = 1.3–27.7).

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