Association of Tirofiban With Functional Outcomes After Thrombectomy in Acute Ischemic Stroke Due to Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease

Neurology. 2023 May 9;100(19):e1996-e2006. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000207194. Epub 2023 Mar 20.


Background and objective: To investigate the efficacy and safety of IV infusion of tirofiban before endovascular thrombectomy for patients with large vessel occlusion due to intracranial atherosclerotic disease. The secondary objective was to identify potential mediators for the clinical effect of tirofiban.

Methods: Post hoc exploratory analysis of the Endovascular Treatment With versus Without Tirofiban for Patients with Large Vessel Occlusion Stroke (RESCUE BT) trial, which was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial at 55 centers in China from October 2018 to October 2021. Patients with occlusion of the internal carotid artery or middle cerebral artery due to intracranial atherosclerosis were included. The primary efficacy outcome was the proportion of patients achieving functional independence (defined as modified Rankin scale 0-2) at 90 days. Binary logistic regression and causal mediation analyses were used to estimate the treatment effect of tirofiban and the potential mediators.

Results: This study included 435 patients, of whom 71.5% were men. The median age was 65 (interquartile range [IQR] 56-72) years, with a median NIH Stroke Scale of 14 (IQR 10-19). Patients in the tirofiban group had higher rates of functional independence at 90 days than patients in the placebo group (adjusted odds ratio 1.68; 95% CI 1.11-2.56, p = 0.02) without an increased risk of mortality or symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. Tirofiban was associated with fewer thrombectomy passes (median [IQR] 1 [1-2] vs 1 [1-2], p = 0.004), which was an independent predictor of functional independence. Mediation analysis showed tirofiban-reduced thrombectomy passes explained 20.0% (95% CI 4.1%-76.0%) of the effect of tirofiban on functional independence.

Discussion: In this post hoc analysis of the RESCUE BT trial, tirofiban was an effective and well-tolerated adjuvant medication of endovascular thrombectomy for patients with large vessel occlusion due to intracranial atherosclerosis. These findings need to be confirmed in future trials.

Trial registration information: The RESCUE BT trial was registered on the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry:, ChiCTR-INR-17014167.

Classification of evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that tirofiban plus endovascular therapy improves 90-day outcome for patients with large vessel occlusion due to intracranial atherosclerosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Ischemia* / complications
  • Brain Ischemia* / drug therapy
  • Brain Ischemia* / surgery
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis* / drug therapy
  • Ischemic Stroke* / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Stroke* / drug therapy
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects
  • Tirofiban / adverse effects
  • Tirofiban / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Tirofiban