Introduction: von Willebrand Factor (vWF) and factor VIII (FVIII) contribute to thrombosis and are important risk factors in acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Elevated vWF has been correlated with depressed left ventricular (LV) function, but has not been examined in a cohort of patients with AIS, particularly with regard to concurrent elevation in FVIII.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that vWF is associated with HF and that combined elevation of vWF and FVIII would strengthen this association.
Methods: From our prospective stroke registry, AIS patients >18 years of age admitted from 09/2011 to 01/2015 were included if both FVIII and vWF were measured during hospitalization and an echocardiogram was performed. Comparisons were done between the following groups: patients with normal (-) vs. elevated (+) vWF, patients with (-) vs. (+) FVIII, and patients with (-) vs. (+) levels of both factors.
Results: Of 1,091 patients in the study period, 212 patients met inclusion criteria. In all groups, patients differed significantly according to history of DM. +vWF had higher frequency of female gender than -vWF, but did not differ according to any other demographic or baseline characteristics. +vWF patients had higher frequency of HF (p=0.007) and higher frequency of depressed LV function (p=0.028) compared to those with -vWF. vWF level correlated with HF (r=0.189, p=0.006) and reduced LV function (r=0.187, p=0.006). Similar findings were found with dual elevation, but we found no relationship between FVIII and HF. After adjustment for HTN, CAD, and DM, vWF remained an independent predictor of HF (OR 1.003, 95%CI 1.000-1.007, p=0.036). While we found no relationship between LV function and FVIII level, median vWF levels increased with decreasing LV function (p=0.027).
Conclusion: The results of our study suggest an association between HF and elevated vWF in the setting of AIS, irrespective of FVIII elevation. These results suggest the potential utility of vWF as an independent biomarker for heart failure in the AIS patient population.