J Stroke.  2013 Jan;15(1):27-37.

Biomarkers for Stroke

  • 1Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. nmboy@unitel.co.kr
  • 2Clinical Research Center, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul, Korea. nmboy@unitel.co.kr


Major stroke clinical trials have failed during the past decades. The failures suggest the presence of heterogeneity among stroke patients. Biomarkers refer to indicators found in the blood, other body fluids or tissues that predicts physiologic or disease states, increased disease risk, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention. Stroke biomarkers could be used as a guiding tool for more effective personalized therapy. MAIN CONTENTS: Three aspects of stroke biomarkers are explored in detail. First, the possible role of biomarkers in patients with stroke is discussed. Second, the limitations of conventional biomarkers (especially protein biomarkers) in the area of stroke research are presented with the reasons. Lastly, various types of biomarkers including traditional and novel genetic, microvesicle, and metabolomics-associated biomarkers are introduced with their advantages and disadvantages. We especially focus on the importance of comprehensive approaches using a variety of stroke biomarkers.
Although biomarkers are not recommended in practice guidelines for use in the diagnosis or treatment of stroke, many efforts have been made to overcome the limitations of biomarkers. The studies reviewed herein suggest that comprehensive analysis of different types of stroke biomarkers will improve the understanding of individual pathophysiologies and further promote the development of screening tools for of high-risk patients, and predicting models of stroke outcome and rational stroke therapy tailored to the characteristics of each case.


Stroke, Ischemic; Biomarker; Personalized medicine; Risk factor; Treatment
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