A Randomized Trial of Intravenous Alteplase before Endovascular Treatment for Stroke

N.E. LeCouffe, M. Kappelhof, K.M. Treurniet, L.A. Rinkel, A.E. Bruggeman, O.A. Berkhemer, L. Wolff, H. van Voorst, M.L. Tolhuisen, D.W.J. Dippel, A. van der Lugt, A.C.G.M. van Es, J. Boiten, G.J.L.A. Nijeholt, K. Keizer, R.A.R. Gons, L.S.F. Yo, R.J. van Oostenbrugge, W.H. van Zwam, B. RoozenbeekH.B. van der Worp, R.T.H. Lo*, I.R. van den Wijngaard, I.R. de Ridder, V. Costalat, C. Arquizan, R. Lemmens, J. Demeestere, J. Hofmeijer, J.M. Martens, W.J. Schonewille, J.A. Vos, M. Uyttenboogaart, R.P.H. Bokkers, J.H. van Tuijl, H. Kortman, F.H.B.M. Schreuder, H.D. Boogaarts, K.F. de Laat, L.C. van Dijk, H.M. den Hertog, B.A.A.M. van Hasselt, P.J.A.M. Brouwers, T. Bulut, M.J.M. Remmers, A. van Norden, F. Imani, A.D. Rozeman, O.E.H. Elgersma, P. Desfontaines, MR CLEAN-NO IV Investigators

*Corresponding author for this work

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Alteplase with EVT versus EVT Alone for Stroke Trials involving Asian patients with acute stroke have suggested that endovascular treatment alone is not inferior to the usual practice of thrombolysis before endovascular treatment. This trial involving European patients did not show noninferiority or superiority of endovascular treatment alone.Background The value of administering intravenous alteplase before endovascular treatment (EVT) for acute ischemic stroke has not been studied extensively, particularly in non-Asian populations. Methods We performed an open-label, multicenter, randomized trial in Europe involving patients with stroke who presented directly to a hospital that was capable of providing EVT and who were eligible for intravenous alteplase and EVT. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive EVT alone or intravenous alteplase followed by EVT (the standard of care). The primary end point was functional outcome on the modified Rankin scale (range, 0 [no disability] to 6 [death]) at 90 days. We assessed the superiority of EVT alone over alteplase plus EVT, as well as noninferiority by a margin of 0.8 for the lower boundary of the 95% confidence interval for the odds ratio of the two trial groups. Death from any cause and symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage were the main safety end points. Results The analysis included 539 patients. The median score on the modified Rankin scale at 90 days was 3 (interquartile range, 2 to 5) with EVT alone and 2 (interquartile range, 2 to 5) with alteplase plus EVT. The adjusted common odds ratio was 0.84 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62 to 1.15; P=0.28), which showed neither superiority nor noninferiority of EVT alone. Mortality was 20.5% with EVT alone and 15.8% with alteplase plus EVT (adjusted odds ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 0.84 to 2.30). Symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage occurred in 5.9% and 5.3% of the patients in the respective groups (adjusted odds ratio, 1.30; 95% CI, 0.60 to 2.81). Conclusions In a randomized trial involving European patients, EVT alone was neither superior nor noninferior to intravenous alteplase followed by EVT with regard to disability outcome at 90 days after stroke. The incidence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage was similar in the two groups. (Funded by the Collaboration for New Treatments of Acute Stroke consortium and others; MR CLEAN-NO IV ISRCTN number, .)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1833-1844
Number of pages12
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2021


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