Leg pain medication may prevent re-blockage of neck arteries after a stent

Research Highlights:

  • Adding cilostazol, an antiplatelet medication for leg pain, to other drugs tended to prevent re-blockage of carotid artery stents within two years.
  • This is the first trial to show potential effectiveness of medical management for prevention of in-stent restenosis after carotid artery stenting.

Embargoed until 11:15 a.m. Pacific Time/ 2:15 p.m. Eastern Time Friday, Feb. 21, 2020

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21, 2020 — Adding cilostazol – an antiplatelet medication used to treat leg pain – tended to prevent re-blockage of carotid artery stents within two years, according to late breaking science presented today at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2020. The conference, Feb. 19-21 in Los Angeles, is a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health.

Blockage of a neck artery (carotid artery) is a major cause of stroke. Opening the carotid artery with a mesh tube known as a stent is an effective treatment, however, patients can develop a blockage – known as in-stent restenosis, which may increase the risk of recurrent stroke.

Cilostazol is a unique antiplatelet agent. As a phosphodiesterase III inhibitor, it improves endothelial function, inhibits the clumping of blood cells (platelet aggravation), widens blood vessels (vasodilator) and mildly inhibits cell growth. It is FDA-approved to treat leg pain in people with peripheral vascular disease.

“This is the first trial to show potential effectiveness of medical management for the prevention of in-stent restenosis after carotid artery stenting,” said Hiroshi Yamagami, M.D., Ph.D., lead study author and director of the Department of Stroke Neurology at National Hospital Organization Osaka National Hospital, Japan.

The Carotid Artery Stenting with Cilostazol Addition for Restenosis (CAS-CARE) study is a multi-center, prospective, randomized, open-label trial evaluating the inhibitory effect of cilostazol on in-stent restenosis, compared to other antiplatelet medications in patients scheduled to undergo carotid artery stenting.

Eligible patients were randomly assigned to receive cilostazol (50 mg or 100 mg, twice per day), or any antiplatelet agents other than cilostazol, starting three days before stenting and continued for two years. A total of 631 patients (average age 70, 88% men) were included in the full study analysis. In-stent restenosis occurred in 9.5% patients in the cilostazol group and 15% of patients in the non-cilostazol group during two years of follow-up. The rate of cardiovascular event occurrence was about 6% in both groups. Bleeding events were also similar for both groups at 1.1% in those treated with cilostazol vs. 0.3% among those not treated with cilostazol.

The list of study authors and disclosures are available in the abstract. CAS-CARE was funded by Translational Research Center for Medical Innovation (TRI), a public interest foundation. TRI raised financial resources for conducting research, and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. donated research funds. Otsuka Pharmaceutical was not involved in any study activities, such as planning or conducting research, collecting data and analyzing results. Some of the investigators have received a grant from Otsuka Pharmaceutical for works not related to this research and have no financial relationship regarding CAS-CARE.

Additional Resources:

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The American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference (ISC) is the world’s premier meeting dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health. ISC 2020 will be held February 19-21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. The 2 ½-day conference features more than 1,600 compelling scientific presentations in 21 categories that emphasize basic, clinical and translational science for health care professionals and researchers. These science and other clinical presentations will provide attendees with a better understanding of stroke and brain health to help improve prevention, treatment and outcomes for the more than 800,000 Americans who have a stroke each year. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. Worldwide, cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) are the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization. Engage in the International Stroke Conference on social media via #ISC20.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is a relentless force for a world with fewer strokes and longer, healthier lives. We team with millions of volunteers and donors to ensure equitable health and stroke care in all communities. We work to prevent, treat and beat stroke by funding innovative research, fighting for the public’s health, and providing lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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