Journal of Translational Medicine (Sep 2018)

Increased circulating endothelial progenitor cells and improved short-term outcomes in acute non-cardioembolic stroke after hyperbaric oxygen therapy

  • Chen-Yu Chen,
  • Re-Wen Wu,
  • Nai-Wen Tsai,
  • Mel S. Lee,
  • Wei-Che Lin,
  • Mei-Chi Hsu,
  • Chih-Cheng Huang,
  • Yun-Ru Lai,
  • Chia-Te Kung,
  • Hung-Chen Wang,
  • Yu-Jih Su,
  • Chih-Min Su,
  • Sheng-Yuan Hsiao,
  • Ben-Chung Cheng,
  • Yi-Fang Chiang,
  • Cheng-Hsien Lu

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. 1
pp. 1 – 9


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Abstract Background Acute ischemic stroke is a leading cause of mortality and long-term disability, and profiles of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) reflect the degree of endothelial impairment. This study tested the hypothesis that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) both improves the clinical short-term outcomes and increases the number of circulating EPCs and antioxidant capacity. Methods The numbers of circulating EPCs [CD133+/CD34+ (%), KDR+/CD34+ (%)], biomarkers for oxidative stress (thiols and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances), and clinical scores (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS], Barthel index [BI], and modified Rankin Scale [MRS]) were prospectively evaluated in 25 patients with acute non-cardioembolic stroke under HBOT at two time points (pre- and post-HBOT). The biomarkers and clinical scores were compared with those of 25 age- and sex-matched disease controls. Results The numbers of KDR+/CD34+ (%) in the HBOT group following HBOT increased significantly, whereas the numbers of CD133+/CD34+ (%) also showed a tendency to increase without statistical significance. The mean high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels showed significant decrease post-HBOT follow-up in the HBOT group. The changes in KDR+/CD34+EPC (%) numbers were positively correlated with changes in clinical outcomes scores (BI, NIHSS, and MRS) in the HBOT group. Conclusions Based on the results of our study, HBOT can both improve short-term clinical outcomes and increase the number of circulating EPCs in patients with acute non-cardioembolic stroke.