A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of nimodipine in acute ischemic hemispheric stroke.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial was conducted to test the hypothesis that nimodipine would improve the functional outcome in acute ischemic hemispheric stroke.
A total of 350 patients were randomized to nimodipine 120 mg/d PO or matching placebo for 21 days. Randomization was stratified by onset of therapy, age, and stroke severity. Treatment was begun within 48 hours of onset. The patients had neurological evaluation on admission, on days 1, 7, and 21, and at 3 and 12 months. The primary end points were Rankin grade, neurological score, and mobility at 12 months.
We did not find any differences in the functional outcome between the treatment groups or between the stratified subgroups. We were also unable in post hoc analyses to find any groups of patients who benefited from nimodipine. During the first month and at 3 months the case-fatality rate was higher in the nimodipine-treated patients than in those on placebo (P = .004 and P = .030, respectively), but at the 1-year follow-up this difference had lost statistical significance. During the first week nimodipine had a statistically significant lowering effect on both systolic (P = .005) and diastolic (P = .013) blood pressure.
Nimodipine did not improve the functional outcome of acute ischemic hemispheric stroke. The early case-fatality rate was higher in the nimodipine group, possibly due to the blood pressure-lowering effect of nimodipine.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association