Cilostazol research in Asia: can it be applied to European and American patients?

Int J Stroke. 2015 Mar;10 Suppl 1:1-9. doi: 10.1111/ijs.12460.


Cilostazol is an antiplatelet drug often used in Asian countries like Korea, Japan, and China. However, it is rarely used in the west. Cilostazol inhibits phosphodiesterase, increases cyclic AMP concentrations, and consequently inhibits platelet aggregation. Interestingly, it also has vasodilatory activity, inhibits vascular smooth muscle proliferation, and protects the endothelium. Studies in Asia have shown that cilostazol is effective in the secondary prevention of stroke. Moreover, it is significantly less likely to cause bleeding complications than aspirin. Additional trials have shown that cilostazol is effective in the prevention of intracranial atherosclerosis progression. Unfortunately, cilostazol has rarely been studied in non-Asian stroke patients and, accordingly, the benefits of cilostazol are less well appreciated in Europe and America than in Asia. Although further studies are required, we suggest that at least some stroke patients (e.g., patients prone to bleeding, patients with intracranial atherosclerosis, etc.) may readily benefit from cilostazol regardless of ethnicity.

Keywords: Asia; cilostazol; guideline; intracranial atherosclerosis; ischemic stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asia / ethnology
  • Cilostazol
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / therapeutic use
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Secondary Prevention / methods*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / prevention & control*
  • Tetrazoles / adverse effects
  • Tetrazoles / therapeutic use*
  • United States / ethnology


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Tetrazoles
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • Cilostazol