INTRODUCTION: Intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is the only approved pharmacological reperfusion therapy for acute ischaemic stroke. Despite population benefit, IVT is not equally effective in all patients, nor is it without significant risk. Uncertain treatment outcome prediction complicates patient treatment selection. This study will develop and validate predictive algorithms for IVT response, using clinical, radiological and blood-based biomarker measures. A secondary objective is to develop predictive algorithms for endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), which has been proven as an effective reperfusion therapy since study inception.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Targeting Optimal Thrombolysis Outcomes Study is a multicenter prospective cohort study of ischaemic stroke patients treated at participating Australian Stroke Centres with IVT and/or EVT. Patients undergo neuroimaging using multimodal CT or MRI at baseline with repeat neuroimaging 24 hours post-treatment. Baseline and follow-up blood samples are provided for research use. The primary outcome is good functional outcome at 90 days poststroke, defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) Score of 0-2. Secondary outcomes are reperfusion, recanalisation, infarct core growth, change in stroke severity, poor functional outcome, excellent functional outcome and ordinal mRS at 90 days. Primary predictive models will be developed and validated in patients treated only with rt-PA. Models will be built using regression methods and include clinical variables, radiological measures from multimodal neuroimaging and blood-based biomarkers measured by mass spectrometry. Predictive accuracy will be quantified using c-statistics and R2. In secondary analyses, models will be developed in patients treated using EVT, with or without prior IVT, reflecting practice changes since original study design.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Patients, or relatives when patients could not consent, provide written informed consent to participate. This study received approval from the Hunter New England Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (reference 14/10/15/4.02). Findings will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.