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BACKGROUND: Emerging studies suggest that early administration of dual antiplatelet therapy may be better than monotherapy for prevention of early recurrent stroke and cardiovascular outcomes in acute ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). We performed a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials evaluating dual versus mono antiplatelet therapy for acute noncardioembolic ischemic stroke or TIA. METHODS AND RESULTS: We assessed randomized, controlled trials investigating dual versus mono antiplatelet therapy published up to November 2012 and the CHANCE trial (Clopidogrel in High-risk patients with Acute Non-disabling Cerebrovascular Events), for efficacy and safety outcomes in adult patients with acute noncardioembolic ischemic stroke or TIA with treatment initiated within 3 days of ictus. In total, 14 studies of 9012 patients were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. Dual antiplatelet therapy significantly reduced risk of stroke recurrence (risk ratio, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.80; P<0.001) and the composite outcome of stroke, TIA, acute coronary syndrome, and all death (risk ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.63-0.81; P<0.001) when compared with monotherapy, and nonsignificantly increased risk of major bleeding (risk ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.70-2.59, P=0.37). Analyses restricted to the CHANCE Trial or the 7 double-blind randomized, controlled trials showed similar results. CONCLUSIONS: For patients with acute noncardioembolic ischemic stroke or TIA, dual therapy was more effective than monotherapy in reducing risks of early recurrent stroke. The results of the CHANCE study are consistent with previous studies done in other parts of the world.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1656 - 1666


Acute Disease Brain Ischemia/*drug therapy/epidemiology Drug Therapy, Combination Humans Ischemic Attack, Transient/*drug therapy/epidemiology Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors/*therapeutic use Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic Risk Factors antiplatelet agents meta-analysis review, systematic stroke transient ischemic attack