Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We conducted a randomized exploratory study to assess safety and the probability of a favorable outcome with adjunctive argatroban, a direct thrombin-inhibitor, administered to recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (r-tPA)-treated ischemic stroke patients. METHODS: Patients treated with standard-dose r-tPA, not receiving endovascular therapy, were randomized to receive no argatroban or argatroban (100 μg/kg bolus) followed by infusion of either 1 (low dose) or 3 μg/kg per minute (high dose) for 48 hours. Safety was incidence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. Probability of clinical benefit (modified Rankin Scale score 0-1 at 90 days) was estimated using a conservative Bayesian Poisson model (neutral prior probability centered at relative risk, 1.0 and 95% prior intervals, 0.33-3.0). RESULTS: Ninety patients were randomized: 29 to r-tPA alone, 30 to r-tPA+low-dose argatroban, and 31 to r-tPA+high-dose argatroban. Rates of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage were similar among control, low-dose, and high-dose arms: 3/29 (10%), 4/30 (13%), and 2/31 (7%), respectively. At 90 days, 6 (21%) r-tPA alone, 9 (30%) low-dose, and 10 (32%) high-dose patients were with modified Rankin Scale score 0 to 1. The relative risks (95% credible interval) for modified Rankin Scale score 0 to 1 with low, high, and either low or high dose argatroban were 1.17 (0.57-2.37), 1.27 (0.63-2.53), and 1.34 (0.68-2.76), respectively. The probability that adjunctive argatroban was superior to r-tPA alone was 67%, 74%, and 79% for low, high, and low or high dose, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In patients treated with r-tPA, adjunctive argatroban was not associated with increased risk of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage and provides evidence that a definitive effectiveness trial is indicated. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: Unique Identifier: NCT01464788.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1608 - 1616


acute stroke, adjunctive therapy, anticoagulation, argatroban, randomized controlled trial, thrombin inhibitor, thrombolysis, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antithrombins, Brain Ischemia, Cerebral Hemorrhage, Drug Therapy, Combination, Female, Fibrinolytic Agents, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Pipecolic Acids, Severity of Illness Index, Stroke, Tissue Plasminogen Activator