INTEnsive ambulance-delivered blood pressure Reduction in hyper-ACute stroke Trial (INTERACT4): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Trials. 2021 Dec 6;22(1):885. doi: 10.1186/s13063-021-05860-y.


Background: Early pre-hospital initiation of blood pressure (BP) lowering could improve outcomes for patients with acute stroke, by reducing hematoma expansion in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), and time to reperfusion treatment and risk of intracranial hemorrhage in ischemic stroke (IS). We present the design of the fourth INTEnsive ambulance-delivered blood pressure Reduction in hyper-ACute stroke Trial (INTERACT4).

Methods: A multi-center, ambulance-delivered, prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint (PROBE) assessed trial of pre-hospital BP lowering in 3116 hypertensive patients with suspected acute stroke at 50+ sites in China. Patients are randomized through a mobile phone digital system to intensive BP lowering to a target systolic BP of < 140 mmHg within 30 min, or guideline-recommended BP management according to local protocols. After the collection of in-hospital clinical and management data and 7-day outcomes, trained blinded assessors conduct telephone or face-to-face assessments of physical function and health-related quality of life in participants at 90 days. The primary outcome is the physical function on the modified Rankin scale at 90 days, analyzed as an ordinal outcome with 7 categories. The sample size was estimated to provide 90% power (α = 0.05) to detect a 22% reduction in the odds of a worse functional outcome using ordinal logistic regression.

Discussion: INTERACT4 is a pragmatic clinical trial to provide reliable evidence on the effectiveness and safety of ambulance-delivered hyperacute BP lowering in patients with suspected acute stroke.

Trial registration: NCT03790800. Registered on 2 January 2019; Chinese Trial Registry ChiCTR1900020534. Registered on 7 January 2019. All items can be found in this protocol paper.

Keywords: Ambulance; Blood pressure; Clinical trial; Management; Pre-hospital; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Ambulances*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure
  • Humans
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Stroke* / drug therapy
  • Stroke* / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents

Associated data