Combination Therapy for Acute Ischemic Stroke Is Safe and Warrants Larger Study, Researchers Find

CINCINNATI—The combination of the clot-busting drug tPA with an infusion of the antiplatelet drug eptifibatide is safe and warrants a larger study to demonstrate it improves outcome after acute ischemic stroke, a study led by University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers has found.

The study, known as the CLEAR-ER Stroke Trial, was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as a Specialized Programs of Translational Research in Acute Stroke (SPOTRIAS) project. Results were presented today (Thursday, Feb. 7) at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Honolulu by Opeolu Adeoye, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Neurosurgery at UC and a neurointensivist at UC Medical Center.

UC was the coordinating center for the trial, which included nine medical centers comprising 21 hospitals. Adeoye was co-principal investigator along with Arthur Pancioli, MD, professor and Richard C. Levy Chair for Emergency Medicine at UC. Both Adeoye and Pancioli are members of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, one of four institutes affiliated with the UC College of Medicine and UC Health.

Standard treatment for acute ischemic stroke (characterized by an obstruction to the blood flow, typically a clot), is intravenous (IV) delivery of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within three hours of stroke onset.

“We know that the combination of these two medications dissolves clots faster and more completely than tPA alone,” Dr. Pancioli says. “Our goal is to determine if we can use this combination to improve the outcomes for acute stroke victims.”

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