Uric Acid May Have Neuroprotective Effect in Stroke Patients

Adding uric acid to standard thrombolytic therapy may reduce the risk of disability among stroke patients.

Adding uric acid to standard thrombolytic therapy may reduce the risk of disability among stroke patients, a study presented at the 2014 International Stroke Conference in San Diego, CA, suggests.

Angel Chamorro, MD, PhD, of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona in Spain, and his colleagues found roughly 40% of the acute ischemic stroke patients given uric acid alongside a clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within 4.5 hours of symptoms onset had relatively no disability at 90 days, compared to 33% of the group that received tPA with placebo.

Although that difference was just short of achieving statistical significance, the addition of uric acid was particularly beneficial in patients with moderate stroke and high blood sugar, as well as in women. In addition, the potent antioxidant was shown to be safe in stroke patients, as there were no differences between the uric acid and placebo groups with respect to intracranial hemorrhage at 36 hours and 90-day rates of gout.

Even though the study was small, Chamorro said it demonstrated proof of concept, and he plans to pursue funding for a larger study to assess the benefits of uric acid in stroke patients.

“We may need to acknowledge that there’s promise for uric acid in patients with acute stroke treated with a clot buster within 4.5 hours of symptoms onset,” Chamorro said in a press release. “The results of this trial are exciting and offer new hope in a field that was full of failures.”