Data_Sheet_1_Clinical Significance of Baseline Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio in Patients With Ischemic Stroke or Hemorrhagic Stroke: An Updated Meta-Analysis.pdf

Background and purpose: Stroke is a leading cause of death and acquired disability in adults today. Inflammation plays an important role in the pathophysiology of stroke. The peripheral neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is an important global inflammatory indicator becoming more mainstream in stroke care. This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the relationship between the baseline NLR and acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, as well as define the clinical significance of NLR in subtypes of ischemic stroke.

Methods: This meta-analysis was registered in PROSPERO with the number CRD42018105305. We went through relevant articles from PubMed Central (PMC) and EMBASE. Prospective and retrospective studies were included if related to baseline NLR levels prior to treatment in patients with ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. Studies were identified up until April 2019. The cutoff value for NLR and the sources of odds ratios (ORs)/risk ratios (RRs) were measured. Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was used to investigate the outcomes during clinical follow-up. Predefined criteria were used to evaluate the risk of bias in eligible studies. P-values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. STATA version 14.0 (STATA, College Station, TX) was used in all statistical analyses.

Results: Thirty-seven studies with 43,979 individuals were included in the final analysis. Higher NLR levels were correlated with increased risk of ischemic stroke (ORs/RRs = 1.609; 95% CI = 1.283–2.019), unfavorable functional outcome at 3 months (ORs/RRs = 1.851; 95% CI = 1.325–2.584), and increased mortality in patients with ischemic stroke (ORs/RRs = 1.068; 95% CI = 1.027–1.111). While in terms of hemorrhagic stroke (including SAH and ICH), elevated NLR levels only had deleterious effects on mortality (ORs/RRs = 1.080; 95% CI = 1.018–1.146).

Conclusions: Baseline NLR level is a promising predictor of the clinical outcomes in both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. In addition, elevated NLR is also associated with a high risk of ischemic stroke occurrence. However, future studies are needed to demonstrate the underlying mechanisms and further explain this association.