Efficacy and Safety of Cilostazol Therapy in Ischemic Stroke: A Meta-analysis

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2015 May;24(5):930-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2014.12.002. Epub 2015 Mar 21.


Background: Antiplatelet therapy is recommended for patients who have experienced ischemic stroke. We performed a meta-analysis to compare the efficacy and safety of cilostazol with other antiplatelet therapies in patients with ischemic stroke.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Library were searched for randomized controlled trials published in English from May 1999 to May 2013. Clinical outcomes were compared by pooled and meta-regression analyses.

Results: Nine studies involving 6328 patients satisfied our inclusion criteria. Stroke recurrence (including hemorrhagic and ischemic) with cilostazol use was 5.3% (157) versus 8.3% (248) in control group (risk ratio .63 [.52-.76], 95% confidence interval [CI]). Poststroke intracranial hemorrhage was .5% (16) with cilostazol versus 1.6% (46) in control group (risk ratio .36 [.21-.63], 95% CI). Poststroke extracranial bleeding complications occurred in 2.4% (66) of the patients taking cilostazol versus 3.9% (108) in control group (risk ratio .62 [.46-.83], 95% CI). No significant difference in cerebrovascular events (nonfatal stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and transient ischemic attack) was found between the cilostazol group (8.2%, 246) versus control group (12.0%, 360; risk ratio .71 [.50-1.01], 95% CI). In addition, the cilostazol therapy brought about a nonsignificant reduction of cardiac adverse events (heart failure, myocardial infarction, and angina pectoris) comparing with control groups, with 3.8% (99) of the cilostazol group versus 4.7% (123) of control group (risk ratio, .81 [.62-1.04], 95% CI).

Conclusions: Cilostazol, alone or in combination with aspirin, significantly reduces stroke recurrence, poststroke intracranial hemorrhage, and extracranial bleeding in patients with a prior ischemic stroke as compared with other antiplatelet therapies.

Keywords: Ischemic stroke; antiplatelet therapy; cilostazol; hemorrhage; meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Cilostazol
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Tetrazoles / therapeutic use*


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Tetrazoles
  • Cilostazol