Citicoline in Intracerebral Haemorrhage: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Centre Pilot Study

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In experimental models citicoline has shown beneficial effects in intracerebral haemorrhage. Citicoline is a neuroprotectant drug with some beneficial effects in human ischaemic stroke and with an excellent safety profile. We decided to carry out a pilot study to test its safety and efficacy in human intracerebral haemorrhaging.


In this double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study, patients had to be previously independent, aged between 40 and 85 years, and had to be admitted within 6 h after onset of symptoms of an acute primary supratentorial hemispheric cerebral haemorrhage diagnosed by neuroimaging (CT or MRI). Baseline severity was defined as patients with a score larger than 8 points on the Glasgow Coma Scale and larger than 7 on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale. Patients received either a placebo or 1 g/12 h citicoline for 2 weeks (orally or intravenously). The primary aim was to evaluate safety with respect to the number of adverse events that occurred. The efficacy endpoint was the percentage of patients with a modified Rankin Score (mRS) at 3 months.


19 patients in each group were included in the study. The incidence of serious adverse events was not different among groups (4 patients in each group). One patient in the placebo group was categorised as independent (mRS ≤ 2) in comparison with 5 patients in the citicoline group (OR, 5.38; 95% CI, 0.55–52).


Citicoline seems to be a safe drug in human intracerebral haemorrhage with a positive trend regarding efficacy. These data should be confirmed in a larger trial.

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