Patients with transient ischemic attack or minor stroke are at high risk of early recurrent cerebrovascular events. Anticoagulation with heparin or warfarin acutely after ischemic stroke is at least as efficacious as aspirin for preventing recurrent events but is associated with an increased risk of clinical worsening due to hemorrhagic transformation.
Aim and hypothesis
We aim to demonstrate the safety of early anticoagulation with dabigatran, an oral direct thrombin inhibitor, in acute cerebrovascular syndrome patients. The primary hypothesis is that symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation rates in dabigatran and aspirin-treated patients will be similar.
Sample size estimates
At least 136 participants in two groups required to demonstrate an absolute between-group difference in the rate of hemorrhagic transformation of 5.6% with 80% power, assuming alpha = 5%.
Methods and design
A randomized, multicenter open-label clinical trial (NCT02295826). Three-hundred participants with a transient ischemic attack/ischemic stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale ≤ 9) will undergo magnetic resonance imaging within 72 h of symptom onset and will be randomized to aspirin 81 mg daily or dabigatran 150 mg twice daily for 30 days. Participants undergo repeat magnetic resonance imaging at 30 days and clinical assessment to 90 days.
The primary outcome is the symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation rate. Secondary outcomes include recurrent stroke and new ischemic lesions on repeat magnetic resonance imaging.
This study will determine the safety of early anticoagulation with dabigatran in patients with acute transient ischemic attack/ischemic stroke and will inform the design of a phase III randomized trial aimed at demonstrating reduced recurrent early ischemic events after acute transient ischemic attack/stroke.