Intravenous prostacyclin in acute nonhemorrhagic stroke: A placebo-controlled double-blind trial

The Prostacyclin Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The therapeutic efficacy of prostacyclin in nonhemorrhagic cerebral infarction was assessed in a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. A total of 80 patients with stroke onset within 24 hours were randomized into placebo (37 patients) and prostacyclin (43 patients) groups. Demographic data and risk factors were comparable. Patients in the prostacyclin group received a continuous i.v. infusion of prostacyclin at an average rate of 8.5 ng/kg/min for an average of 64 hours. The placebo group received vehicle only in a similar fashion. During treatment hemodynamic changes were more prominent in the patients receiving prostacyclin and included reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and increase in pulse rate. In contrast there was only a slight (but significant) reduction of diastolic blood pressure in the placebo group. Neurologic deficit scores were determined on admission, at Day 3, and at Weeks 1, 2, and 4. Mean neurologic deficit scores upon entry were comparable in the placebo and prostacyclin groups, and a significant improvement in the score for neurologic deficit was noted in both. The placebo group tended to fare better throughout the study, with a significant difference in neurologic deficit score favoring the placebo group at Week 2 (p = 0.0048). Two patients in the placebo and one in the prostacyclin group died. The only difference in adverse reactions was flushing (6 patients in prostacyclin vs. 0 in placebo group, p< 0.05). The results of this study suggest a lack of therapeutic efficacy of prostacyclin in a defined population of patients with nonhemorrhagic cerebral infarction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-358
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987


  • Cerebral infarction
  • Clinical trial
  • Human stroke
  • Prostacyclin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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