P. Sandercock, R. Lindley, J. Wardlaw, M. Dennis, S. Lewis, G. Venables, A. Kobayashi, A. Czlonkowska, E. Berge, K. B. Slot, V. Murray, A. Peeters, G. Hankey, K. Matz, M. Brainin, S. Ricci, M. G. Celani, E. Righetti, T. Cantisani, G. Gubitz, S. Phillips, A. Arauz, K. Prasad, M. Correia, P. Lyrer, I. S. T. Collaborative Grp



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Background: Intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is approved for use in selected patients with ischaemic stroke within 3 hours of symptom onset. IST-3 seeks to determine whether a wider range of patients may benefit. Design: International, multi-centre, prospective, randomized, open, blinded endpoint (PROBE) trial of intravenous rt-PA in acute ischaemic stroke. Suitable patients must be assessed and able to start treatment within 6 hours of developing symptoms, and brain imaging must have excluded intracerebral haemorrhage. With 1000 patients, the trial can detect a 7% absolute difference in the primary outcome. With3500 patients, it can detect a 4.0% absolute benefit & with 6000, (mostly treated between 3 & 6 hours), it can detect a 3% benefit. Trial procedures: Patients are entered into the trial by telephoning a fast, secure computerised central randomisation system or via a secure web interface. Repeat brain imaging must be performed at 24-48 hours. The scans are reviewed ‘blind’ by expert readers. The primary measure of outcome is the proportion of patients alive and independent ( Modified Rankin 0-2) at six months ( assessed via a postal questionnaire mailed directly to the patient). Secondary outcomes include: events within 7 days ( death, recurrent stroke, symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage), outcome at six months ( death, functional status, EuroQol).