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Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) in stroke 2 (PAIS 2): Protocol for a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial to assess the effect of high-dose paracetamol on functional outcome in patients with acute stroke and a body temperature of 36·5°C or above

Authors


  • Conflict of interest: The authors declare no potential conflict of interest.
  • Funding: Stichting Neurovasculair Onderzoek Rotterdam (SNOR) (Foundation for Neurovascular Research Rotterdam)

Abstract

Rationale

In the first hours after stroke onset, subfebrile temperatures and fever have been associated with poor functional outcome. In the first Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) in Stroke trial, a randomized clinical trial of 1400 patients with acute stroke, patients who were treated with high-dose paracetamol showed more improvement on the modified Rankin Scale at three-months than patients treated with placebo, but this difference was not statistically significant. In the 661 patients with a baseline body temperature of 37·0°C or above, treatment with paracetamol increased the odds of functional improvement (odds ratio 1·43; 95% confidence interval: 1·02–1·97). This relation was also found in the patients with a body temperature of 36·5°C or higher (odds ratio 1·31; 95% confidence interval 1·01–1·68). These findings need confirmation.

Aim

The study aims to assess the effect of high-dose paracetamol in patients with acute stroke and a body temperature of 36·5°C or above on functional outcome.

Design

The Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) In Stroke 2 trial is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. We use a power of 85% to detect a significant difference in the scores on the modified Rankin Scale of the paracetamol group compared with the placebo group at a level of significance of 0·05 and assume a treatment effect of 7%. Fifteen-hundred patients with acute ischemic stroke or intracerebral hemorrhage and a body temperature of 36·5°C or above will be included within 12 h of symptom onset. Patients will be treated with paracetamol in a daily dose of six-grams or matching placebo for three consecutive days. The Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) In Stroke 2 trial has been registered as NTR2365 in The Netherlands Trial Register.

Study outcomes

The primary outcome will be improvement on the modified Rankin Scale at three-months as analyzed by ordinal logistic regression.

Discussion

If high-dose paracetamol will be proven effective, a simple, safe, and extremely cheap therapy will be available for many patients with acute stroke worldwide.

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