Ischaemic stroke is associated with an excessive release of glutamate in brain. GOT (glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase) and GPT (glutamate-pyruvate transaminase) are two enzymes that are able to metabolize blood glutamate facilitating the lowering of extracellular levels of brain glutamate. Our aim was to study the association between blood levels of both enzymes and stroke outcome in patients with acute ischaemic stroke. We prospectively studied 365 patients with first ischaemic stroke<12 h. Glutamate, GOT and GPT levels were determined in blood samples obtained at admission. We considered functional outcome at 3 months [good outcome: mRS (modified Rankin Scale)≤2; poor outcome mRS >2], END (early neurological deterioration) in the first 72 h [increment ≥4 points in NIHSS (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale)] and infarct volume [CT (computed tomography) at 36–72 h] as end points. We have found an inverse correlation between GOT and GPT levels and blood glutamate levels. Patients with poor outcome showed lower levels of GOT (11.9±8.2 compared with 22.7±10.2 m-units/ml, P<0.0001) and GPT (19.5±14.3 compared with 24.7±20.3 m-units/ml; P=0.004). A negative correlation has been found between GOT (Pearson coefficient=−0.477, P<0.0001) and GPT (Pearson coefficient=−0.116; P=0.027) levels and infarct volume. Patients with END showed higher levels of blood glutamate (381.7±97.9 compared with 237.6±114.0 μmol/l, P<0.0001) and lower levels of GOT (10.8±6.7 compared with 18.1±10.8 m-units/ml; P<0.0001). This clinical study shows an association between high blood GOT and GPT levels and good outcome in ischaemic stroke patients, this association being stronger for GOT than GPT levels.

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