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BACKGROUND: Recent randomised trials showed benefit for anti-inflammatory therapies in coronary disease but excluded stroke. The prognostic value of blood inflammatory markers after stroke is uncertain and guidelines do not recommend their routine measurement for risk stratification. METHODS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies investigating the association of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and fibrinogen and risk of recurrent stroke or major vascular events (MVEs). We searched EMBASE and Ovid Medline until 10/1/19. Random-effects meta-analysis was performed for studies reporting comparable effect measures. RESULTS: Of 2,515 reports identified, 39 met eligibility criteria (IL-6, n = 10; CRP, n = 33; fibrinogen, n = 16). An association with recurrent stroke was reported in 12/26 studies (CRP), 2/11 (fibrinogen) and 3/6 (IL-6). On random-effects meta-analysis of comparable studies, CRP was associated with an increased risk of recurrent stroke [pooled hazard ratio (HR) per 1 standard-deviation (SD) increase in loge-CRP (1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.22, p 

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Stroke J

Publication Date





62 - 71


C-reactive protein, Ischaemic stroke, fibrinogen, inflammation, interleukin-6, prognosis, recurrence, transient ischaemic attack