Drug Trio May Cut Stroke Severity
Too Soon to Recommend the Drug Mix, Researchers Caution
WebMD News Archive
Less Severe Strokes
The study was done in hindsight. The researchers checked the patients'
medical records to gauge stroke severity upon
reaching the hospital.
Stroke severity on admission was significantly lower in patients taking all
three types of drugs than in patients taking none of those drugs, antiplatelets
alone, antiplatelets and statins, or antiplatelets and ACE inhibitors.
Average hospital stays were shorter with triple therapy (six days) than for
patients only taking antiplatelets (seven days) or none of the drugs (nine
days). The volume of brain tissue at risk after stroke was smaller in patients
on triple therapy, the study also shows.
The degree of stroke recovery in hospital was similar among the groups. The
key difference was the initial stroke severity, the researchers note.
Larger, longer studies are needed before any recommendations are made, the
researchers note. Here are three reasons for their caution:
- The study doesn't show how the patients fared after leaving the
- The researchers weren't able to adjust for any other illnesses patients may
- Patients weren't randomly assigned to take any (or none) of the drug
An editorial in the journal agrees.
The study is an "important" addition to the "growing evidence
that statins and ACE inhibitors may be useful as neuroprotective agents in the
setting of acute ischemic stroke," but more studies are required, the
The editorialists included Tanya Turan, MD, an assistant professor of
neurology at Emory University.