Dabigatran Treatment of Acute Noncardioembolic Ischemic Stroke
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Background and Purpose- Patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor ischemic stroke are at risk for early recurrent cerebral ischemia. Anticoagulants are associated with reduced recurrence but also increased hemorrhagic transformation (HT). The safety of the novel oral anticoagulant dabigatran in acute stroke has not been evaluated. Methods- DATAS II (Dabigatran Treatment of Acute Stroke II) was a phase II prospective, randomized open label, blinded end point trial. Patients with noncardioembolic stroke/transient ischemic attack (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, ≤9; infarct volume, ≤25 mL) were randomized to dabigatran or aspirin. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed before randomization and repeated at day 30. Imaging end points were ascertained centrally by readers blinded to treatment. The primary end point was symptomatic HT within 37 days of randomization. Results- A total of 305 patients, mean age 66.59±13.21 years, were randomized to dabigatran or aspirin a mean of 42.00±17.31 hours after symptom onset. The qualifying event was a transient ischemic attack in 21%, and ischemic stroke in 79% of patients. Median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (interquartile range) was 1 (0-2), and mean infarct volume 3.2±6.5 mL. No symptomatic HT occurred. Asymptomatic petechial HT developed in 11/142 (7.8%) of dabigatran-assigned patients and 5/142 (3.5%) of aspirin-assigned patients (relative risk, 2.301 [95% CI, 0.778-6.802]). Baseline infarct volume predicted incident HT (odds ratio, 1.07 [95% CI, 1.03-1.12]; P=0.0026). Incident covert infarcts on day 30 imaging occurred in 9/142 (6.3%) of dabigatran-assigned and 14/142 (9.8%) of aspirin-assigned patients (relative risk, 0.62 [95% CI, 0.26, 1.48]). Conclusions- Dabigatran was associated with a risk of HT similar to aspirin in acute minor noncardioembolic ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack. Registration- URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT02295826.
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