Rivaroxaban versus aspirin on functional and cognitive outcomes after embolic stroke of undetermined source: NAVIGATE ESUS trial Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background

    The effect of interventions on functional impairment is an important outcome in stroke prevention trials and should be considered as an adjunct to counting discrete events. In the NAVIGATE-ESUS trial, 7213 patients with recent embolic strokes of undetermined source were randomized to rivaroxaban (15 mg once daily) or aspirin (100 mg daily). After 11 months there was no effect on the prevention of recurrent stroke.


    To determine the effect of rivaroxaban compared to aspirin on functional and cognitive outcomes.


    Function and cognition were measured at baseline, 1 year, and study end using the Standard Assessment of Global Everyday Activities (SAGEA), a 15-item scale assessing cognitive, instrumental, and basic activities of daily living as well as mobility, and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Changes in scores were calculated by subtracting either study end or 1-year scores from baseline, and differences in distributions were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. SAGEA and MoCA scores were also correlated with recurrent stroke.


    Follow-up SAGEA scores were available in 6378 (88%) participants. There was no difference in change in function for those allocated to rivaroxaban compared to aspirin (Mann-Whitney U test, p = 0.8), with both distributions having a median (25p,75p) change of 0 (-2,1). Overall, more of those who experienced a recurrent stroke (n=247; mostly minor ischemic), reported functional difficulty at study end versus entry, compared with those who did not (51% versus 30%, chi-square test, p< 0.001), and this was consistent across global regions. There was no difference in the change in cognition by treatment group, nor were recurrent strokes associated with a change in cognition.


    Rivaroxaban, compared to aspirin, was not associated with changes in functional or cognitive status in patients with recent ESUS. The SAGEA scale detected changes in functional status associated with recurrent strokes in an international stroke population.

publication date

  • May 2022