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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2016, Article ID 8915764, 5 pages
Research Article

Safety and Efficacy of Acute Clopidogrel Load in Patients with Moderate and Severe Ischemic Strokes

1Department of Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA
2Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA
3Department of Global Health Management and Policy, Tulane University School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA, USA
4University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, SC, USA
5Stroke Program, Department of Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA

Received 14 July 2016; Accepted 14 September 2016

Academic Editor: Graeme J. Hankey

Copyright © 2016 Amir Shaban et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To study the safety and efficacy of a clopidogrel loading dose in patients with moderate and severe acute ischemic strokes. Background. The safety of clopidogrel loading has been extensively investigated in patients with minor strokes and transient ischemic attacks. Methods. Acute ischemic stroke patients presenting consecutively to our center from 07/01/08 to 07/31/13 were screened. Clopidogrel loading was defined as at least 300 mg dose (with or without aspirin) given within 6 hours of admission. We compared outcomes in patients with baseline NIHSS > 3 with and without clopidogrel loading. Results. Inclusion criteria were met for 1011 patients (43.6% females, 69.1% black, median age 63). Patients with clopidogrel loading had lower baseline NIHSS than patients who were not loaded (8 versus 9, ). The two groups had similar risk for hemorrhagic transformation () and symptomatic hemorrhage (). Patients who were loaded had a lower rate of neurological worsening (38.9% versus 48.3%, ) and less in-hospital mortality (4.3% versus 13.4%, ) compared to those who were not loaded. The likelihood of having a poor functional outcome did not differ between the two groups after adjusting for NIHSS on admission (OR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.4633–1.0906, ). Conclusion. Clopidogrel loading dose was not associated with increased risk for hemorrhagic transformation or symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage in our retrospective study and was associated with reduced rates of neuroworsening following moderate and severe stroke.