Prehospital transdermal glyceryl trinitrate for ultra-acute ischaemic stroke: data from the RIGHT-2 randomised sham-controlled ambulance trial

Jason Philip Appleton, Lisa J. Woodhouse, Craig S. Anderson, Sandeep Ankolekar, Lesley Cala, Mark Dixon, Timothy J. England, Kailash Krishnan, Grant Mair, Keith W. Muir, John Potter, Christopher I. Price, Marc Randall, Thompson G. Robinson, Christine Roffe, Else C. Sandset, Jeffrey L. Saver, Angela Shone, Aloysius Niroshan Siriwardena, Joanna M. WardlawNikola Sprigg, Philip M. Bath, On behalf of the RIGHT-2 Investigators

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Background: The effect of transdermal glyceryl trinitrate (GTN, a nitrovasodilator) on clinical outcome when administered before hospital admission in suspected stroke patients is unclear. Here, we assess the safety and efficacy of GTN in the prespecified subgroup of patients who had an ischaemic stroke within the Rapid Intervention with Glyceryl trinitrate in Hypertensive stroke Trial-2 (RIGHT-2).  

Methods: RIGHT-2 was an ambulance-based multicentre sham-controlled blinded-endpoint study with patients randomised within 4 hours of onset. The primary outcome was a shift in scores on the modified Rankin scale (mRS) at day 90. Secondary outcomes included death; a global analysis (Wei-Lachin test) containing Barthel Index, EuroQol-5D, mRS, telephone interview for cognitive status-modified and Zung depression scale; and neuroimaging-determined ‘brain frailty’ markers. Data were reported as n (%), mean (SD), median [IQR], adjusted common OR (acOR), mean difference or Mann-Whitney difference (MWD) with 95% CI.  

Results: 597 of 1149 (52%) patients had a final diagnosis of ischaemic stroke; age 75 (12) years, premorbid mRS>2 107 (18%), Glasgow Coma Scale 14 (2) and time from onset to randomisation 67 [45, 108] min. Neuroimaging ‘brain frailty’ was common: median score 2 [2, 3] (range 0–3). At day 90, GTN did not influence the primary outcome (acOR for increased disability 1.15, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.54), death or global analysis (MWD 0.00, 95% CI −0.10 to 0.09). In subgroup analyses, there were non-significant interactions suggesting GTN may be associated with more death and dependency in participants randomised within 1 hour of symptom onset and in those with more severe stroke.  

Conclusions: In patients who had an ischaemic stroke, ultra-acute administration of transdermal GTN in the ambulance did not improve clinical outcomes in a population with more clinical and radiological frailty than seen in previous in-hospital trials.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbersvn-2022-001634
Pages (from-to)38-49
Number of pages12
JournalStroke and Vascular Neurology
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2023


  • Blood Pressure
  • Cerebral Infarction
  • Clinical Trial
  • Stroke

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