Background: During the first days after stroke, one to two fifths of the patients develop fever or subfebrile temperatures. Body temperature is a strong prognostic factor after stroke. Pharmacological reduction of temperature in patients with acute ischaemic stroke may improve their functional outcome. Previously, we studied the effect of high dose (6 g daily) and low dose (3 g daily) paracetamol (acetaminophen) in a randomised placebo-controlled trial of 75 patients with acute ischemic stroke. In the high-dose paracetamol group, mean body temperature at 12 and 24 hours after start of treatment was 0.4°C lower than in the placebo group. The effect of ibuprofen, another potent antipyretic drug, on body-core temperature in normothermic patients has not been studied. Aim: The aim of the present trial is to study the effects of high-dose paracetamol and ibuprofen on body temperature in patients with acute ischaemic stroke, and to study the safety of these treatments. Design: Seventy-five (3 x 25) patients with acute ischaemic stroke confined to the anterior circulation will be randomised to treatment with either: 400 mg ibuprofen, 1000 mg acetaminophen, or with placebo 6 times daily during 5 days. Body-temperatures will be measured with a rectal electronic thermometer at the start of treatment and after 24 hours. An infrared tympanic thermometer will be used to monitor body temperature at 2-hour intervals during the first 24 hours and at 12-hour intervals thereafter. The primary outcome measure will be rectal temperature at 24 hours after the start of treatment. The study results will be analysed on an intent-to-treat basis, but an on-treatment analysis will also be performed. No formal interim analysis will be carried out.

dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2261-2-7, hdl.handle.net/1765/64209
B M C Cardiovascular Disorders
Department of Neurology

van Breda, E.J, van der Worp, H.B, van Gemert, M, Meijer, R.J, Kappelle, L.J, Koudstaal, P.J, & Dippel, D.W.J. (2002). PISA. The effect of paracetamol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen on body temperature in acute stroke: Protocol for a phase II double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial [ISRCTN98608690]. B M C Cardiovascular Disorders, 2. doi:10.1186/1471-2261-2-7