Introduction: Several studies have examined the association of the common PvuII polymorphism of the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) gene with the risk of stroke. Data linking the polymorphism with the severity and outcome of cerebrovascular disease is lacking. We looked for possible associations of the PvuII polymorphism with stroke severity and short-term prognosis in a cohort of female stroke patients.
Patients-Methods: We studied 302 postmenopausal Caucasian female patients suffering an acute stroke, hospitalized in two tertiary hospitals over a period of two years. In all patients, a detailed medical history and recording of classical stroke risk factors was performed. The neurological severity on admission was assessed using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and the one month functional outcome using the modified Rankin Scale. ERα polymorphism at position c.454397 T>C (PvuII) was genotyped. Circulating androgen and estradiol levels were measured in all patients, the latter using a high sensitivity assay.
Results: The prevalence of CC genotype was 21%, CT 50% and TT 29%. There was no difference in the neurological severity on admission or in the short-term functional outcome and mortality between the three genotype groups. No association was found between the PvuII polymorphism and classical stroke risk factors. Estradiol levels were higher with increasing frequencies of the C allele (P 0.04). An association of the CC genotype with venous thromboembolism history was recorded (P 0.05).
Conclusions: There was no association between the PvuII polymorphism and stroke severity and short-term outcome in the studied female stroke population. One cannot exclude the possibility that the long-term estrogenic action reflected by the genetic polymorphism may be attenuated in older age.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.