Cilostazol combined with aspirin prevents early neurological deterioration in patients with acute ischemic stroke: a pilot study

J Neurol Sci. 2012 Feb 15;313(1-2):22-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2011.09.038. Epub 2011 Oct 19.


Recent randomized trials have shown that cilostazol is superior to aspirin for secondary stroke prevention. We hypothesized that combining cilostazol with aspirin is more effective than aspirin alone in patients with acute ischemic stroke. This randomized study compared the effects of oral aspirin alone to aspirin plus cilostazol in patients with non-cardioembolic ischemic stroke within 48 h of stroke onset. NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores were checked before and after 14 days and 6 months of drug administration. The primary and secondary endpoints were neurological deterioration or stroke recurrence (NIHSS score ≥ 1) within 14 days and 6 months, respectively. For statistical analysis, on-treatment analysis was conducted. Seventy-six patients were enrolled in the study. The primary endpoint was significantly higher in the aspirin group than in the aspirin plus cilostazol group (28% vs. 6%, relative risk (RR): 0.21, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.05-0.87, p=0.013). Among the patients who did not reach these endpoints, the mean improvement in the NIHSS score at day 14 tended to be better (-1.8 ± 1.2 vs. -1.2 ± 1.0, p=0.078) and the frequency of the favorable functional status of mRS 0-1 at month 6 was significantly higher (RR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.07-2.06, p=0.0048) in the aspirin plus cilostazol group than in the aspirin group. Patients treated with aspirin plus cilostazol during the acute phase of stroke had less neurological deterioration and more favorable functional status than those treated with aspirin alone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Cilostazol
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Degeneration / epidemiology
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology
  • Nerve Degeneration / prevention & control*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Tetrazoles / administration & dosage*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Tetrazoles
  • Cilostazol
  • Aspirin