Desmopressin for reversal of Antiplatelet drugs in Stroke due to Haemorrhage (DASH)
Intracerebral haemorrhage is a medical emergency, caused by a blood vessel bleeding directly into the brain. Outcome is directly related to the amount of bleeding that occurs. Many patients die early and others are left with significant disability. A quarter of all people with intracerebral haemorrhage are taking an antiplatelet drug, which is associated with larger volumes of brain haemorrhage and significantly worse outcomes. Four to five million people are taking antiplatelet drugs in the UK and use continues to rise in an ageing population.
Despite advances in treatment of ischaemic stroke, there is no effective drug treatment for intracerebral haemorrhage. Treatment for intracerebral haemorrhage has been identified as a priority area by Stroke Association and stroke survivors.Desmopressin is a drug that reverses blood thinning effects of antiplatelet drugs, by indirectly increasing platelet adhesion, which we hypothesise will minimise the devastating consequences of intracerebral haemorrhage associated with antiplatelet drugs. Desmopressin is commonly used in patients with inherited platelet dysfunction disorders and is an appealing treatment for antiplatelet-associated intracerebral haemorrhage. Our recent systematic review did not find any randomised controlled trials evaluating desmopressin for antiplatelet-associated intracerebral haemorrhage. Desmopressin is affordable, available and could be implemented clinically across the UK and worldwide in the next five years with immediate benefit for stroke patients, their families and society.
The DASH Study is a phase II, prospective randomised placebo-controlled trial, aiming to test the feasibility of randomising, administering the intervention, and completing follow-up for patients treated with desmopressin or placebo to inform a definitive trial.