BACKGROUND: Some studies have suggested that transdermal administration of glyceryl trinitrate (GTN; nitroglycerin) in the first few hours after symptom onset increases the chance of a favourable outcome after ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage, possibly through an increase in intracranial collateral blood flow and a reduction in blood pressure. The Multicentre Randomised trial of Acute Stroke treatment in the Ambulance with a nitroglycerin Patch (MR ASAP) aims to assess the effect of transdermal GTN, started within 3 h after stroke onset in the prehospital setting, on functional outcome at 90 days in patients with acute ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage. METHODS: MR ASAP is a phase III, multicentre, randomised, open-label clinical trial with a blinded outcome assessment. A total of 1400 adult patients with suspected stroke and a systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg will be randomised to transdermal GTN (5 mg/day), administered as a transdermal patch by paramedics in the prehospital setting within 3 h of stroke onset and continued for 24 h or to standard care. The primary outcome is the score on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 90 days, analysed with ordinal logistic regression. Secondary outcomes include blood pressure and collateral circulation at hospital admission, neurological deficit measured with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale at 24 h, and mortality and poor outcome (mRS score 3 to 6) at 90 days. This trial will be conducted in the Netherlands and will use a deferred consent procedure. The trial is part of the Collaboration for New Treatments of Acute Stroke (CONTRAST) programme. DISCUSSION: MR ASAP will assess whether very early administration of GTN improves outcome after stroke in a setting where rates of intravenous thrombolysis and endovascular treatment for acute ischaemic stroke are high. The deferred consent procedure facilitates prompt GTN treatment and will prevent delay to revascularisation therapies. If early transdermal GTN treatment proves to be effective, this low-cost treatment can be readily implemented into daily clinical practice. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN99503308 . Registered on 2 January 2018.

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Keywords Acute stroke, Ambulance, Cerebrovascular disorders, Glyceryl trinitrate, GTN, Nitroglycerin, Prehospital, Randomised controlled trial
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Journal Trials
van den Berg, S.A. (Sophie A.), Dippel, D.W.J, Hofmeijer, J, Fransen, P.S.S, Caminada, K. (Klaartje), Siegers, A. (Arjen), … van der Worp, H.B. (2019). Multicentre Randomised trial of Acute Stroke treatment in the Ambulance with a nitroglycerin Patch (MR ASAP): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 20(1). doi:10.1186/s13063-019-3419-z