Magnesium for Treatment of Acute Lacunar Stroke Syndromes

Background and Purpose— A prespecified interaction analysis of the neutral Intravenous Magnesium Efficacy in Stroke (IMAGES) trial revealed significant benefit from magnesium (Mg) in patients with noncortical stroke. Post hoc analysis indicated that this effect was seen in lacunar clinical syndromes (LACS), interaction P=0.005. We have now examined whether this interaction could be explained by confounding baseline factors.

Methods— LACS was defined on the basis of neurological signs and did not include imaging. We investigated the interaction between baseline variables and Mg treatment on global outcome. We used logistic-regression models to test whether the Mg-LACS interaction remained significant after adjusting for stratification variables, sex, a novel stroke severity score, and baseline variables that had an interaction with treatment (P<0.1).

Results— The Mg (n=383) and placebo (n=382) groups of LACS patients were well matched on baseline factors. In addition to LACS, we found an interaction between beneficial Mg treatment effect and younger age (P=0.003), higher baseline diastolic blood pressure (P=0.02), higher mean blood pressure (P=0.02), and absence of ischemic heart disease (P=0.07). Even so, the adjusted Mg-LACS interaction remained significant (odds ratio [OR] 0.57; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.83; P=0.003). In the LACS subgroup, Mg improved Barthel Index <95 (OR 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.98), modified Rankin Scale >1 (OR 0.67; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.91), and global outcome (OR 0.70; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.92) but not Barthel Index <60 or mortality.