AbstractOBJECTIVE:We examined the hypothesis that a plasma protease-antiprotease imbalance contributes to the formation of saccular cerebral aneurysms and the suggestion that the assay of these enzymes might be a screening tool for people at higher risk for aneurysm formation.METHODS:From June 1997 through May 1998, the plasma leukocyte elastase, which is an important proteolytic enzyme, and α2-antitrypsin and α2-macroglobulin, which are important antiproteolytic enzyme plasma proteins, were examined in 18 patients with ruptured aneurysms, 9 patients with unruptured aneurysms, and 22 controlsRESULTS:The elastase:α1-antitrypsin ratio and the elastase:α2-macroglobulin ratios were significantly higher in patients with ruptured aneurysms within 24 hours after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) than in the controls. The protease-antiprotease imbalance depended on the elevation of the elastase level, which might be correlated with leukocytosis after SAH. The elastase level decreased to the control level 3 months after the onset of SAH. No significant difference in the elastase:α2-antitrypsin and elastase:a2-macroglobulin ratios was observed between the patients with unruptured aneurysms and the controls.CONCLUSION:These results do not support the hypothesis that a plasma protease-antiprotease imbalance is a potential marker to predict the formation of saccular cerebral aneurysms. The increase in plasma elastase levels in patients with ruptured aneurysms might be attributable to leukocytosis after SAH.
Neurosurgery – Oxford University Press
Published: Jul 1, 1999
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