Combination of an Immune Modulator Fingolimod with Alteplase in Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Pilot Trial
Background—Inflammatory and immune responses triggered by brain ischemia worsen clinical outcomes of stroke and contribute to hemorrhagic transformation, massive edema and reperfusion injury associated with intravenous alteplase. We assessed whether a combination of the immune-modulator fingolimod and alteplase is safe and effective in attenuating reperfusion injury in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) treated within the first 4.5 hours of symptom onset.
Methods and Results—In this multi-center trial, we randomly assigned 25 eligible patients with hemispheric ischemic stroke stemming from anterior or middle cerebral arterial occlusion to receive alteplase alone or 22 patients to receive alteplase plus oral fingolimod 0.5 mg daily for three consecutive days within 4.5 hours of the onset of ischemic stroke. Compared with patients who received alteplase alone or patients who received combination of fingolimod with alteplase exhibited lower circulating lymphocytes, smaller lesion volumes (10.1 vs 34.3 ml, P = 0.04), less hemorrhage (1.2 vs 4.4 ml, p = 0.01) and attenuated neurodeficits in National Institute of Health Stroke Scales (4 vs 2, P =0.02) at day 1. Furthermore, restrained lesion growth from day 1 to day 7 (-2.3 vs 12.1 ml, P < 0.01) with a better recovery at day 90 (modified Rankin Scale 0-1, 73% vs 32%, P < 0.01) was evident in patients given fingolimod and alteplase. No serious adverse events were recorded in all patients.
Conclusions—In this pilot study, combination therapy of fingolimod and alteplase was well tolerated, attenuated reperfusion injury and improved clinical outcomes in AIS patients. These findings need to be tested in further clinical trials.
Clinical Trial Registration Information—www.clinicaltrials.gov. Identifier: NCT02002390.
- Received March 6, 2015.
- Revision received July 8, 2015.
- Accepted July 16, 2015.