• binary data;
  • global test;
  • sample size;
  • sequential clinical trial;
  • stroke


The International Citicoline Trial in acUte Stroke is a sequential phase III study of the use of the drug citicoline in the treatment of acute ischaemic stroke, which was initiated in 2006 in 56 treatment centres. The primary objective of the trial is to demonstrate improved recovery of patients randomized to citicoline relative to those randomized to placebo after 12 weeks of follow-up. The primary analysis will take the form of a global test combining the dichotomized results of assessments on three well-established scales: the Barthel Index, the modified Rankin scale and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale. This approach was previously used in the analysis of the influential National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke trial of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator in stroke.

The purpose of this paper is to describe how this trial was designed, and in particular how the simultaneous objectives of taking into account three assessment scales, performing a series of interim analyses and conducting treatment allocation and adjusting the analyses to account for prognostic factors, including more than 50 treatment centres, were addressed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.