Background and Purpose: The CC genotype of the –174 G/C interleukin (IL)-6 polymorphism has been associated with lacunar stroke. However, it remains unsettled whether this polymorphism is also associated with other ischemic stroke phenotypes. Methods: The –174 G/C IL-6 polymorphism was genotyped in patients with lacunar stroke (n = 89), stroke due to large vessel disease (n = 82), cardioembolism (n = 53), stroke of undetermined cause (n = 49) and in white controls without any history of stroke (n = 105) by PCR and restriction enzyme analysis. Independent predictors of the –174 G/C IL-6 genotypes were assessed using multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for demographics, risk factors and disease state. Results: The prevalence of the CC genotype was 8.5% in large vessel disease, 7.5% in embolism, 19.1% in lacunar stroke, 14.3% in stroke of undetermined cause and 8.6% in controls. The CC genotype was independently associated with lacunar stroke only (adjusted OR 3.22, 95% CI 9.09–1.12). Contrarily, there were no significant differences in genotype and allele distribution in the remainder of ischemic stroke phenotypes. Pooling of patients with nonlacunar stroke did not show any independent association with the CC genotype as compared with controls (OR 1.01, 95% CI 2.77–0.36). Conclusions: The unique association between the CC genotype of the –174 G/C IL-6 polymorphism and lacunar stroke suggests a particular susceptibility of small deep penetrators of cerebral arteries to IL-6-mediated inflammatory damage.

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