Safety and efficacy of intensive vs. guideline antiplatelet therapy in high-risk patients with recent ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack: rationale and design of the Triple Antiplatelets for Reducing Dependency after Ischaemic Stroke (TARDIS) trial (ISRCTN47823388)

Int J Stroke. 2015 Oct;10(7):1159-65. doi: 10.1111/ijs.12538. Epub 2015 Jun 16.


Rationale: The risk of recurrence following a stroke or transient ischemic attack is high, especially immediately after the event.

Hypothesis: Because two antiplatelet agents are superior to one in patients with non-cardioembolic events, more intensive treatment might be even more effective.

Sample size estimates: The sample size of 4100 patients will allow a shift to less recurrence, and less severe recurrence, to be detected (odds ratio 0·68) with 90% power at 5% significance.

Methods and design: Triple Antiplatelets for Reducing Dependency after Ischaemic Stroke (ISRCTN47823388) is comparing the safety and efficacy of intensive (combined aspirin, clopidogrel, and dipyridamole) vs. guideline antiplatelet therapy, both given for one-month. This international collaborative parallel-group prospective randomized open-label blinded-end-point phase III trial plans to recruit 4100 patients with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. Randomization and data collection are performed over a secure Internet site with real-time data validation and concealment of allocation. Outcomes, serious adverse events, and neuroimaging are adjudicated centrally with blinding to treatment allocation.

Study outcome: The primary outcome is stroke recurrence and its severity ('ordinal recurrence' based on modified Rankin Scale) at 90 days, with masked assessment centrally by telephone. Secondary outcomes include vascular events, functional measures (disability, mood, cognition, quality of life), and safety (bleeding, death, serious adverse events).

Discussion: The trial has recruited more than 50% of its target sample size (latest number: 2399) and is running in 104 sites in 4 countries. One-third of patients presented with a transient ischemic attack.

Keywords: acute stroke; aspirin; clopidogrel; dipyridamole; randomized controlled trial; transient ischemic attack.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / drug therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / standards*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Research Design / standards*
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN47823388