Efficacy and safety of abobotulinumtoxinA in spastic lower limb: Randomized trial and extension

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To demonstrate single abobotulinumtoxinA injection efficacy in lower limb vs placebo for adults with chronic hemiparesis and assess long-term safety and efficacy of repeated injections.


In a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-cycle study followed by a 1-year open-label, multiple-cycle extension, adults ≥6 months after stroke/brain injury received one lower limb injection (abobotulinumtoxinA 1,000 U, abobotulinumtoxinA 1,500 U, placebo) followed by ≤4 open-label cycles (1,000, 1,500 U) at ≥12-week intervals. Efficacy measures included Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) in gastrocnemius–soleus complex (GSC; double-blind primary endpoint), physician global assessment (PGA), and comfortable barefoot walking speed. Safety was the open-label primary endpoint.


After a single injection, mean (95% confidence interval) MAS GSC changes from baseline at week 4 (double-blind, n = 381) were as follows: −0.5 (−0.7 to −0.4) (placebo, n = 128), −0.6 (−0.8 to −0.5) (abobotulinumtoxinA 1,000 U, n = 125; p = 0.28 vs placebo), and −0.8 (−0.9 to −0.7) (abobotulinumtoxinA 1,500 U, n = 128; p = 0.009 vs placebo). Mean week 4 PGA scores were as follows: 0.7 (0.5, 0.9) (placebo), 0.9 (0.7, 1.1) (1,000 U; p = 0.067 vs placebo), and 0.9 (0.7, 1.1) (1,500 U; p = 0.067); walking speed was not significantly improved vs placebo. At cycle 4, week 4 (open-label), mean MAS GSC change reached −1.0. Incremental improvements in PGA and walking speed occurred across open-label cycles; by cycle 4, week 4, mean PGA was 1.9, and walking speed increased +25.3% (17.5, 33.2), with 16% of participants walking >0.8 m/s (associated with community mobility; 0% at baseline). Tolerability was good and consistent with the known abobotulinumtoxinA safety profile.


In chronic hemiparesis, single abobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport Ipsen) administration reduced muscle tone. Repeated administration over a year was well-tolerated and improved walking speed and likelihood of achieving community ambulation.

Clinicaltrial.gov identifiers:

NCT01249404, NCT01251367.

Classification of evidence:

The double-blind phase of this study provides Class I evidence that for adults with chronic spastic hemiparesis, a single abobotulinumtoxinA injection reduces lower extremity muscle tone.

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