Admission hyperglycemia complicates approximately one-third of acute ischemic strokes and is associated with a worse clinical outcome. Both human and animal studies have showed that hyperglycemia is particularly detrimental in ischemia/reperfusion. Decreased reperfusion blood flow has been observed after middle cerebral artery occlusion in acutely hyperglycemic animals, suggesting the vasculature as an important site of hyperglycemic reperfusion injury. This paper reviews biochemical and molecular pathways in the vasculature that are rapidly affected by hyperglycemia and concludes that these changes result in a pro-vasoconstrictive, pro-thrombotic and pro-inflammatory phenotype that renders the vasculature vulnerable to reperfusion injury. Understanding these pathways should lead to the development of rational therapies that reduce hyperglycemic reperfusion injury and thus improve outcome in this large subset of acute ischemic stroke patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine