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  1. Law ZK, Appleton JP, Bath PM, Sprigg N
    Clin Med (Lond), 2017 Apr;17(2):166-172.
    PMID: 28365631 DOI: 10.7861/clinmedicine.17-2-166
    Managing acute intracerebral haemorrhage is a challenging task for physicians. Evidence shows that outcome can be improved with admission to an acute stroke unit and active care, including urgent reversal of anticoagulant effects and, potentially, intensive blood pressure reduction. Nevertheless, many management issues remain controversial, including the use of haemostatic therapy, selection of patients for neurosurgery and neurocritical care, the extent of investigations for underlying causes and the benefit versus risk of restarting antithrombotic therapy after an episode of intracerebral haemorrhage.
  2. Law ZK, Al-Shahi Salman R, Bath PM, Steiner T, Sprigg N
    Stroke, 2018 08;49(8):e271-e272.
    PMID: 30355046 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.022071
  3. Flaherty K, Bath PM, Dineen R, Law Z, Scutt P, Pocock S, et al.
    Trials, 2017 Dec 20;18(1):607.
    PMID: 29262841 DOI: 10.1186/s13063-017-2341-5
    RATIONALE: Aside from blood pressure lowering, treatment options for intracerebral haemorrhage remain limited and a proportion of patients will undergo early haematoma expansion with resultant significant morbidity and mortality. Tranexamic acid (TXA), an anti-fibrinolytic drug, has been shown to significantly reduce mortality in patients, who are bleeding following trauma, when given rapidly. TICH-2 is testing whether TXA is effective at improving outcome in spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (SICH).

    METHODS AND DESIGN: TICH-2 is a pragmatic, phase III, prospective, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial. Two thousand adult (aged ≥ 18 years) patients with an acute SICH, within 8 h of stroke onset, will be randomised to receive TXA or the placebo control. The primary outcome is ordinal shift of modified Rankin Scale score at day 90. Analyses will be performed using intention-to-treat.

    RESULTS: This paper and its attached appendices describe the statistical analysis plan (SAP) for the trial and were developed and published prior to database lock and unblinding to treatment allocation. The SAP includes details of analyses to be undertaken and unpopulated tables which will be reported in the primary and key secondary publications. The database will be locked in early 2018, ready for publication of the results later in the same year.

    DISCUSSION: The SAP details the analyses that will be done to avoid bias arising from prior knowledge of the study findings. The trial will determine whether TXA can improve outcome after SICH, which currently has no definitive therapy.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN registry, ID: ISRCTN93732214 . Registered on 17 January 2013.

  4. Salma RA, Law ZK, Bath PM, Steiner T, Sprigg N
    Emergencias, 2020 06;32(3):201-202.
    PMID: 32395931
  5. Appleton JP, Blair GW, Flaherty K, Law ZK, May J, Woodhouse LJ, et al.
    Front Neurol, 2019;10:723.
    PMID: 31333572 DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00723
    Background: Cilostazol and isosorbide mononitrate (ISMN) are candidate treatments for cerebral small vessel disease and lacunar ischaemic stroke. As both drugs may influence hemoglobin and platelet count, and hemodynamics, we sought to assess their effects in the lacunar intervention-1 (LACI-1) trial. Methods: Fifty-seven lacunar ischaemic stroke patients were randomized to immediate ISMN, cilostazol, or their combination for 9 weeks in addition to guideline stroke prevention. A fourth group received both drugs with a delayed start. Full blood count, platelet function, peripheral blood pressure (BP), heart rate and central hemodynamics (Augmentation index, Buckberg index) were measured at baseline, and weeks 3 and 8. Differences were assessed by multiple linear regression adjusted for baseline and key prognostic variables. Registration ISRCTN 12580546. Results: At week 8, platelet count was higher with cilostazol vs. no cilostazol (mean difference, MD 35.73, 95% confidence intervals, 95% CI 2.81-68.66, p = 0.033), but no significant differences were noted for hemoglobin levels or platelet function. At week 8, BP did not differ between the treatment groups, whilst heart rate was higher in those taking cilostazol vs. no cilostazol (MD 6.42, 95% CI 1.17-11.68, p = 0.017). Buckberg index (subendocardial perfusion) was lower in those randomized to cilostazol vs. no cilostazol and in those randomized to both drugs vs. either drug. Whilst ISMN significantly increased unadjusted augmentation index (arterial stiffness, MD 21.19, 95% CI 9.08-33.31, p = 0.001), in isolation both drugs non-significantly reduced augmentation index adjusted for heart rate. Conclusions: Cilostazol increased heart rate and platelet count, and reduced Buckberg index, whilst both drugs may individually reduce arterial stiffness adjusted for heart rate. Neither drug had clinically significant effects on hemoglobin or platelet function over 8 weeks. Further assessment of the safety and efficacy of these medications following lacunar ischaemic stroke is warranted.
  6. Pszczolkowski S, Law ZK, Gallagher RG, Meng D, Swienton DJ, Morgan PS, et al.
    Comput Biol Med, 2019 03;106:126-139.
    PMID: 30711800 DOI: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2019.01.022
    BACKGROUND: Spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (SICH) is a common condition with high morbidity and mortality. Segmentation of haematoma and perihaematoma oedema on medical images provides quantitative outcome measures for clinical trials and may provide important markers of prognosis in people with SICH.

    METHODS: We take advantage of improved contrast seen on magnetic resonance (MR) images of patients with acute and early subacute SICH and introduce an automated algorithm for haematoma and oedema segmentation from these images. To our knowledge, there is no previously proposed segmentation technique for SICH that utilises MR images directly. The method is based on shape and intensity analysis for haematoma segmentation and voxel-wise dynamic thresholding of hyper-intensities for oedema segmentation.

    RESULTS: Using Dice scores to measure segmentation overlaps between labellings yielded by the proposed algorithm and five different expert raters on 18 patients, we observe that our technique achieves overlap scores that are very similar to those obtained by pairwise expert rater comparison. A further comparison between the proposed method and a state-of-the-art Deep Learning segmentation on a separate set of 32 manually annotated subjects confirms the proposed method can achieve comparable results with very mild computational burden and in a completely training-free and unsupervised way.

    CONCLUSION: Our technique can be a computationally light and effective way to automatically delineate haematoma and oedema extent directly from MR images. Thus, with increasing use of MR images clinically after intracerebral haemorrhage this technique has the potential to inform clinical practice in the future.

  7. Ovesen C, Jakobsen JC, Gluud C, Steiner T, Law Z, Flaherty K, et al.
    BMC Res Notes, 2018 Jun 13;11(1):379.
    PMID: 29895329 DOI: 10.1186/s13104-018-3481-8
    OBJECTIVE: We present the statistical analysis plan of a prespecified Tranexamic Acid for Hyperacute Primary Intracerebral Haemorrhage (TICH)-2 sub-study aiming to investigate, if tranexamic acid has a different effect in intracerebral haemorrhage patients with the spot sign on admission compared to spot sign negative patients. The TICH-2 trial recruited above 2000 participants with intracerebral haemorrhage arriving in hospital within 8 h after symptom onset. They were included irrespective of radiological signs of on-going haematoma expansion. Participants were randomised to tranexamic acid versus matching placebo. In this subgroup analysis, we will include all participants in TICH-2 with a computed tomography angiography on admission allowing adjudication of the participants' spot sign status.

    RESULTS: Primary outcome will be the ability of tranexamic acid to limit absolute haematoma volume on computed tomography at 24 h (± 12 h) after randomisation among spot sign positive and spot sign negative participants, respectively. Within all outcome measures, the effect of tranexamic acid in spot sign positive/negative participants will be compared using tests of interaction. This sub-study will investigate the important clinical hypothesis that spot sign positive patients might benefit more from administration of tranexamic acid compared to spot sign negative patients. Trial registration ISRCTN93732214 ( http://www.isrctn.com ).

  8. Law ZK, Meretoja A, Engelter ST, Christensen H, Muresan EM, Glad SB, et al.
    European stroke journal, 2017 Mar;2(1):13-22.
    PMID: 31008298 DOI: 10.1177/2396987316676610
    Purpose: Haematoma expansion is a devastating complication of intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) with no established treatment. Tranexamic acid had been an effective haemostatic agent in reducing post-operative and traumatic bleeding. We review current evidence examining the efficacy of tranexamic acid in improving clinical outcome after ICH.

    Method: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL and clinical trial registers for studies using search strategies incorporating the terms 'intracerebral haemorrhage', 'tranexamic acid' and 'antifibrinolytic'. Authors of ongoing clinical trials were contacted for further details.

    Findings: We screened 268 publications and retrieved 17 articles after screening. Unpublished information from three ongoing clinical trials was obtained. We found five completed studies. Of these, two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing intravenous tranexamic acid to placebo (n = 54) reported no significant difference in death or dependency. Three observational studies (n = 281) suggested less haematoma growth with rapid tranexamic acid infusion. There are six ongoing RCTs (n = 3089) with different clinical exclusions, imaging selection criteria (spot sign and haematoma volume), time window for recruitment and dosing of tranexamic acid.

    Discussion: Despite their heterogeneity, the ongoing trials will provide key evidence on the effects of tranexamic acid on ICH. There are uncertainties of whether patients with negative spot sign, large haematoma, intraventricular haemorrhage, or poor Glasgow Coma Scale should be recruited. The time window for optimal effect of haemostatic therapy in ICH is yet to be established.

    Conclusion: Tranexamic acid is a promising haemostatic agent for ICH. We await the results of the trials before definite conclusions can be drawn.

  9. Dineen RA, Pszczolkowski S, Flaherty K, Law ZK, Morgan PS, Roberts I, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2018 02 03;8(2):e019930.
    PMID: 29431141 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019930
    OBJECTIVES: To test whether administration of the antifibrinolytic drug tranexamic acid (TXA) in patients with spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (SICH) leads to increased prevalence of diffusion-weighted MRI-defined hyperintense ischaemic lesions (primary hypothesis) or reduced perihaematomal oedema volume, perihaematomal diffusion restriction and residual MRI-defined SICH-related tissue damage (secondary hypotheses).

    DESIGN: MRI substudy nested within the double-blind randomised controlled Tranexamic Acid for Hyperacute Primary Intracerebral Haemorrhage (TICH)-2 trial (ISRCTN93732214).

    SETTING: International multicentre hospital-based study.

    PARTICIPANTS: Eligible adults consented and randomised in the TICH-2 trial who were also able to undergo MRI scanning. To address the primary hypothesis, a sample size of n=280 will allow detection of a 10% relative increase in prevalence of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) hyperintense lesions in the TXA group with 5% significance, 80% power and 5% imaging data rejection.

    INTERVENTIONS: TICH-2 MRI substudy participants will undergo MRI scanning using a standardised protocol at day ~5 and day ~90 after randomisation. Clinical assessments, randomisation to TXA or placebo and participant follow-up will be performed as per the TICH-2 trial protocol.

    CONCLUSION: The TICH-2 MRI substudy will test whether TXA increases the incidence of new DWI-defined ischaemic lesions or reduces perihaematomal oedema or final ICH lesion volume in the context of SICH.

    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The TICH-2 trial obtained ethical approval from East Midlands - Nottingham 2 Research Ethics Committee (12/EM/0369) and an amendment to allow the TICH-2 MRI sub study was approved in April 2015 (amendment number SA02/15). All findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals. The primary outcome results will also be presented at a relevant scientific meeting.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN93732214; Pre-results.

  10. Law ZK, England TJ, Mistri AK, Woodhouse LJ, Cala L, Dineen R, et al.
    European stroke journal, 2020 Jun;5(2):123-129.
    PMID: 32637645 DOI: 10.1177/2396987320901391
    Introduction: Seizures are common after intracerebral haemorrhage. Tranexamic acid increases the risk of seizures in non-intracerebral haemorrhage population but its effect on post-intracerebral haemorrhage seizures is unknown. We explored the risk factors and outcomes of seizures after intracerebral haemorrhage and if tranexamic acid increased the risk of seizures in the Tranexamic acid for IntraCerebral Haemorrhage-2 trial.

    Patients and methods: Seizures were reported prospectively up to day 90. Cox regression analyses were used to determine the predictors of seizures within 90 days and early seizures (≤7 days). We explored the effect of early seizures on day 90 outcomes.

    Results: Of 2325 patients recruited, 193 (8.3%) had seizures including 163 (84.5%) early seizures and 30 (15.5%) late seizures (>7 days). Younger age (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.98 per year increase, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97-0.99; p = 0.008), lobar haematoma (aHR 5.84, 95%CI 3.58-9.52; p 

  11. Law ZK, Dineen R, England TJ, Cala L, Mistri AK, Appleton JP, et al.
    Transl Stroke Res, 2020 Sep 09.
    PMID: 32902808 DOI: 10.1007/s12975-020-00845-6
    Neurological deterioration is common after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We aimed to identify the predictors and effects of neurological deterioration and whether tranexamic acid reduced the risk of neurological deterioration. Data from the Tranexamic acid in IntraCerebral Hemorrhage-2 (TICH-2) randomized controlled trial were analyzed. Neurological deterioration was defined as an increase in National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) of ≥ 4 or a decline in Glasgow Coma Scale of ≥ 2. Neurological deterioration was considered to be early if it started ≤ 48 h and late if commenced between 48 h and 7 days after onset. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors and effects of neurological deterioration and the effect of tranexamic acid on neurological deterioration. Of 2325 patients, 735 (31.7%) had neurological deterioration: 590 (80.3%) occurred early and 145 (19.7%) late. Predictors of early neurological deterioration included recruitment from the UK, previous ICH, higher admission systolic blood pressure, higher NIHSS, shorter onset-to-CT time, larger baseline hematoma, intraventricular hemorrhage, subarachnoid extension and antiplatelet therapy. Older age, male sex, higher NIHSS, previous ICH and larger baseline hematoma predicted late neurological deterioration. Neurological deterioration was independently associated with a modified Rankin Scale of > 3 (aOR 4.98, 3.70-6.70; p 
  12. Moullaali TJ, Wang X, Woodhouse LJ, Law ZK, Delcourt C, Sprigg N, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2019 07 16;9(7):e030121.
    PMID: 31315876 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030121
    INTRODUCTION: Conflicting results from multiple randomised trials indicate that the methods and effects of blood pressure (BP) reduction after acute intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) are complex. The Blood pressure in Acute Stroke Collaboration is an international collaboration, which aims to determine the optimal management of BP after acute stroke including ICH.

    METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A systematic review will be undertaken according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analysis of Individual Participant Data (IPD) guideline. A search of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE and MEDLINE from inception will be conducted to identify randomised controlled trials of BP management in adults with acute spontaneous (non-traumatic) ICH enrolled within the first 7 days of symptom onset. Authors of studies that meet the inclusion criteria will be invited to share their IPD. The primary outcome will be functional outcome according to the modified Rankin Scale. Safety outcomes will be early neurological deterioration, symptomatic hypotension and serious adverse events. Secondary outcomes will include death and neuroradiological and haemodynamic variables. Meta-analyses of pooled IPD using the intention-to-treat dataset of included trials, including subgroup analyses to assess modification of the effects of BP lowering by time to treatment, treatment strategy and patient's demographic, clinical and prestroke neuroradiological characteristics.

    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No new patient data will be collected nor is there any deviation from the original purposes of each study where ethical approvals were granted; therefore, further ethical approval is not required. Results will be reported in international peer-reviewed journals.

    PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42019141136.

  13. Blair GW, Appleton JP, Flaherty K, Doubal F, Sprigg N, Dooley R, et al.
    EClinicalMedicine, 2019 04 24;11:34-43.
    PMID: 31317131 DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.04.001
    Background: Lacunar stroke, a frequent clinical manifestation of small vessel disease (SVD), differs pathologically from other ischaemic stroke subtypes and has no specific long-term secondary prevention. Licenced drugs, isosorbide mononitrate (ISMN) and cilostazol, have relevant actions to prevent SVD progression.

    Methods: We recruited independent patients with clinically confirmed lacunar ischaemic stroke without cognitive impairment to a prospective randomised clinical trial, LACunar Intervention-1 (LACI-1). We randomised patients using a central web-based system, 1:1:1:1 with minimisation, to masked ISMN 25 mg bd, cilostazol 100 mg bd, both ISMN and cilostazol started immediately, or both with start delayed. We escalated doses to target over two weeks, sustained for eight weeks. Primary outcome was the proportion achieving target dose. Secondary outcomes included symptoms, safety (haemorrhage, recurrent vascular events), cognition, haematology, vascular function, and neuroimaging. LACI-1 was powered (80%, alpha 0.05) to detect 35% (90% versus 55%) difference between the proportion reaching target dose on one versus both drugs at 55 patients. Registration ISRCTN12580546.

    Findings: LACI-1 enrolled 57 participants between March 2016 and August 2017: 18 (32%) females, mean age 66 (SD 11, range 40-85) years, onset-randomisation 203 (range 6-920) days. Most achieved full (64%) or over half (87%) dose, with no difference between cilostazol vs ISMN, single vs dual drugs. Headache and palpitations increased initially then declined similarly with dual versus single drugs. There was no between-group difference in BP, pulse-wave velocity, haemoglobin or platelet function, but pulse rate was higher (mean difference, MD, 6.4, 95%CI 1.2-11.7, p = 0.02), platelet count higher (MD 35.7, 95%CI 2.8, 68.7, p = 0.03) and white matter hyperintensities reduced more (Chi-square p = 0.007) with cilostazol versus no cilostazol.

    Interpretation: Cilostazol and ISMN are well tolerated when the dose is escalated, without safety concerns, in patients with lacunar stroke. Larger trials with longer term follow-up are justified.

    Funding: Alzheimer's Society (AS-PG-14-033).

  14. Law ZK, Ali A, Krishnan K, Bischoff A, Appleton JP, Scutt P, et al.
    Stroke, 2020 01;51(1):121-128.
    PMID: 31735141 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.026128
    Background and Purpose- Blend, black hole, island signs, and hypodensities are reported to predict hematoma expansion in acute intracerebral hemorrhage. We explored the value of these noncontrast computed tomography signs in predicting hematoma expansion and functional outcome in our cohort of intracerebral hemorrhage. Methods- The TICH-2 (Tranexamic acid for IntraCerebral Hemorrhage-2) was a prospective randomized controlled trial exploring the efficacy and safety of tranexamic acid in acute intracerebral hemorrhage. Baseline and 24-hour computed tomography scans of trial participants were analyzed. Hematoma expansion was defined as an increase in hematoma volume of >33% or >6 mL on 24-hour computed tomography. Poor functional outcome was defined as modified Rankin Scale of 4 to 6 at day 90. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of hematoma expansion and poor functional outcome. Results- Of 2325 patients recruited, 2077 (89.3%) had valid baseline and 24-hour scans. Five hundred seventy patients (27.4%) had hematoma expansion while 1259 patients (54.6%) had poor functional outcome. The prevalence of noncontrast computed tomography signs was blend sign, 366 (16.1%); black hole sign, 414 (18.2%); island sign, 200 (8.8%); and hypodensities, 701 (30.2%). Blend sign (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.53 [95% CI, 1.16-2.03]; P=0.003), black hole (aOR, 2.03 [1.34-3.08]; P=0.001), and hypodensities (aOR, 2.06 [1.48-2.89]; P<0.001) were independent predictors of hematoma expansion on multivariable analysis with adjustment for covariates. Black hole sign (aOR, 1.52 [1.10-2.11]; P=0.012), hypodensities (aOR, 1.37 [1.05-1.78]; P=0.019), and island sign (aOR, 2.59 [1.21-5.55]; P=0.014) were significant predictors of poor functional outcome. Tranexamic acid reduced the risk of hematoma expansion (aOR, 0.77 [0.63-0.94]; P=0.010), but there was no significant interaction between the presence of noncontrast computed tomography signs and benefit of tranexamic acid on hematoma expansion and functional outcome (P interaction all >0.05). Conclusions- Blend sign, black hole sign, and hypodensities predict hematoma expansion while black hole sign, hypodensities, and island signs predict poor functional outcome. Noncontrast computed tomography signs did not predict a better response to tranexamic acid. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: https://www.isrctn.com. Unique identifier: ISRCTN93732214.
  15. Blair GW, Appleton JP, Law ZK, Doubal F, Flaherty K, Dooley R, et al.
    Int J Stroke, 2018 07;13(5):530-538.
    PMID: 28906205 DOI: 10.1177/1747493017731947
    Rationale The pathophysiology of most lacunar stroke, a form of small vessel disease, is thought to differ from large artery atherothrombo- or cardio-embolic stroke. Licensed drugs, isosorbide mononitrate and cilostazol, have promising mechanisms of action to support their testing to prevent stroke recurrence, cognitive impairment, or radiological progression after lacunar stroke. Aim LACI-1 will assess the tolerability, safety, and efficacy, by dose, of isosorbide mononitrate and cilostazol, alone and in combination, in patients with ischemic lacunar stroke. Sample size A sample of 60 provides 80+% power (significance 0.05) to detect a difference of 35% (90% versus 55%) between those reaching target dose on one versus both drugs. Methods and design LACI-1 is a phase IIa partial factorial, dose-escalation, prospective, randomized, open label, blinded endpoint trial. Participants are randomized to isosorbide mononitrate and/or cilostazol for 11 weeks with dose escalation to target as tolerated in two centers (Edinburgh, Nottingham). At three visits, tolerability, safety, blood pressure, pulse wave velocity, and platelet function are assessed, plus magnetic resonance imaging to assess cerebrovascular reactivity in a subgroup. Study outcomes Primary: proportion of patients completing study achieving target maximum dose. Secondary symptoms whilst taking medications; safety (hemorrhage, recurrent vascular events, falls); blood pressure, platelet function, arterial stiffness, and cerebrovascular reactivity. Discussion This study will inform the design of a larger phase III trial of isosorbide mononitrate and cilostazol in lacunar stroke, whilst providing data on the drugs' effects on vascular and platelet function. Trial registration ISRCTN (ISRCTN12580546) and EudraCT (2015-001953-33).
  16. Sprigg N, Flaherty K, Appleton JP, Al-Shahi Salman R, Bereczki D, Beridze M, et al.
    PMID: 31322116 DOI: 10.3310/hta23350
    BACKGROUND: Tranexamic acid reduces death due to bleeding after trauma and postpartum haemorrhage.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to assess if tranexamic acid is safe, reduces haematoma expansion and improves outcomes in adults with spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH).

    DESIGN: The TICH-2 (Tranexamic acid for hyperacute primary IntraCerebral Haemorrhage) study was a pragmatic, Phase III, prospective, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial.

    SETTING: Acute stroke services at 124 hospitals in 12 countries (Denmark, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK).

    PARTICIPANTS: Adult patients (aged ≥ 18 years) with ICH within 8 hours of onset.

    EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Exclusion criteria were ICH secondary to anticoagulation, thrombolysis, trauma or a known underlying structural abnormality; patients for whom tranexamic acid was thought to be contraindicated; prestroke dependence (i.e. patients with a modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score > 4); life expectancy  4.5 hours after stroke onset. Pragmatic inclusion criteria led to a heterogeneous population of participants, some of whom had very large strokes. Although 12 countries enrolled participants, the majority (82.1%) were from the UK.

    CONCLUSIONS: Tranexamic acid did not affect a patient's functional status at 90 days after ICH, despite there being significant modest reductions in early death (by 7 days), haematoma expansion and SAEs, which is consistent with an antifibrinolytic effect. Tranexamic acid was safe, with no increase in thromboembolic events.

    FUTURE WORK: Future work should focus on enrolling and treating patients early after stroke and identify which participants are most likely to benefit from haemostatic therapy. Large randomised trials are needed.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN93732214.

    FUNDING: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 23, No. 35. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information. The project was also funded by the Pragmatic Trials, UK, funding call and the Swiss Heart Foundation in Switzerland.

  17. Sprigg N, Flaherty K, Appleton JP, Al-Shahi Salman R, Bereczki D, Beridze M, et al.
    Lancet, 2018 05 26;391(10135):2107-2115.
    PMID: 29778325 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31033-X
    BACKGROUND: Tranexamic acid can prevent death due to bleeding after trauma and post-partum haemorrhage. We aimed to assess whether tranexamic acid reduces haematoma expansion and improves outcome in adults with stroke due to intracerebral haemorrhage.

    METHODS: We did an international, randomised placebo-controlled trial in adults with intracerebral haemorrhage from acute stroke units at 124 hospital sites in 12 countries. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 1 g intravenous tranexamic acid bolus followed by an 8 h infusion of 1 g tranexamic acid or a matching placebo, within 8 h of symptom onset. Randomisation was done centrally in real time via a secure website, with stratification by country and minimisation on key prognostic factors. Treatment allocation was concealed from patients, outcome assessors, and all other health-care workers involved in the trial. The primary outcome was functional status at day 90, measured by shift in the modified Rankin Scale, using ordinal logistic regression with adjustment for stratification and minimisation criteria. All analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN93732214.

    FINDINGS: We recruited 2325 participants between March 1, 2013, and Sept 30, 2017. 1161 patients received tranexamic acid and 1164 received placebo; the treatment groups were well balanced at baseline. The primary outcome was assessed for 2307 (99%) participants. The primary outcome, functional status at day 90, did not differ significantly between the groups (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0·88, 95% CI 0·76-1·03, p=0·11). Although there were fewer deaths by day 7 in the tranexamic acid group (101 [9%] deaths in the tranexamic acid group vs 123 [11%] deaths in the placebo group; aOR 0·73, 0·53-0·99, p=0·0406), there was no difference in case fatality at 90 days (250 [22%] vs 249 [21%]; adjusted hazard ratio 0·92, 95% CI 0·77-1·10, p=0·37). Fewer patients had serious adverse events after tranexamic acid than after placebo by days 2 (379 [33%] patients vs 417 [36%] patients), 7 (456 [39%] vs 497 [43%]), and 90 (521 [45%] vs 556 [48%]).

    INTERPRETATION: Functional status 90 days after intracerebral haemorrhage did not differ significantly between patients who received tranexamic acid and those who received placebo, despite a reduction in early deaths and serious adverse events. Larger randomised trials are needed to confirm or refute a clinically significant treatment effect.

    FUNDING: National Institute of Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme and Swiss Heart Foundation.

  18. Lim ST, Thijs V, Murphy SJX, Fernandez-Cadenas I, Montaner J, Offiah C, et al.
    J Neurol, 2020 Oct;267(10):3021-3037.
    PMID: 32518978 DOI: 10.1007/s00415-020-09932-y
    BACKGROUND: The prevalence of ex vivo 'high on-treatment platelet reactivity (HTPR)' and its relationship with recurrent vascular events/outcomes in patients with ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVD) is unclear.

    METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed in accordance with the PRISMA statement. MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library were searched for completed manuscripts until May 2019 on TIA/ischaemic stroke patients, ≥ 18 years, treated with commonly-prescribed antiplatelet therapy, who had platelet function/reactivity testing and prospective follow-up data on recurrent stroke/TIA, myocardial infarction, vascular death or other cerebrovascular outcomes. Data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Primary outcome was the composite risk of recurrent stroke/TIA, myocardial infarction or vascular death. Secondary outcomes were recurrent stroke/TIA, severe stroke (NIHSS > 16) or disability/impairment (modified Rankin scale ≥ 3) during follow-up.

    RESULTS: Antiplatelet-HTPR prevalence was 3-65% with aspirin, 8-56% with clopidogrel and 1.8-35% with aspirin-clopidogrel therapy. Twenty studies (4989 patients) were included in our meta-analysis. There was a higher risk of the composite primary outcome (OR 2.93, 95% CI 1.90-4.51) and recurrent ischaemic stroke/TIA (OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.51-3.91) in patients with vs. those without 'antiplatelet-HTPR' on any antiplatelet regimen. These risks were also more than twofold higher in patients with vs. those without 'aspirin-HTPR' and 'dual antiplatelet-HTPR', respectively. Clopidogrel-HTPR status did not significantly predict outcomes, but the number of eligible studies was small. The risk of severe stroke was higher in those with vs. without antiplatelet-HTPR (OR 2.65, 95% CI 1.00-7.01).

    DISCUSSION: Antiplatelet-HTPR may predict risks of recurrent vascular events/outcomes in CVD patients. Given the heterogeneity between studies, further prospective, multi-centre studies are warranted.

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