Cerebrolysin and Recovery After Stroke (CARS)
A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Multicenter Trial
Background and Purpose—The aim of this trial was to investigate whether stroke patients who receive Cerebrolysin show improved motor function in the upper extremities at day 90 compared with patients who receive a placebo.
Methods—This study was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, parallel-group study. Patients were treated with Cerebrolysin (30 mL/d) or a placebo (saline) once daily for 21 days, beginning at 24 to 72 hours after stroke onset. The patients also participated in a standardized rehabilitation program for 21 days that was initiated within 72 hours after stroke onset. The primary end point was the Action Research Arm Test score on day 90.
Results—The nonparametric effect size on the Action Research Arm Test score on day 90 indicated a large superiority of Cerebrolysin compared with the placebo (Mann–Whitney estimator, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.63–0.79; P<0.0001). The multivariate effect size on global status, as assessed using 12 different outcome scales, indicated a small-to-medium superiority of Cerebrolysin (Mann–Whitney estimator, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.58–0.65; P<0.0001). The rate of premature discontinuation was <5% (3.8%). Cerebrolysin was safe and well tolerated.
Conclusions—Cerebrolysin had a beneficial effect on function and global outcome in early rehabilitation patients after stroke. Its safety was comparable with that of the placebo, suggesting a favorable benefit/risk ratio. Because this study was exploratory and had a relatively small sample size, the results should be confirmed in a large-scale, randomized clinical trial.
Clinical Trial Registration—URL: http://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu. Unique identifier: 2007-000870-21.
- randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
- recovery of function
- Received March 12, 2015.
- Revision received September 8, 2015.
- Accepted October 7, 2015.
- © 2015 The Authors.
Stroke is published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wolters Kluwer. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDervis License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited, the use is noncommercial, and no modifications or adaptations are made.