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The Darbepoetin Alfa for Ischemic Surgical Complications (DISC) Dose Finding Trial (DISC)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Steven Messe, University of Pennsylvania Identifier:
First received: March 27, 2008
Last updated: November 3, 2016
Last verified: November 2016

March 27, 2008
November 3, 2016
January 2008
July 2010   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Death or Neurologic Disability, Defined as an NIHSS>4 or ASIA<25 [ Time Frame: Discharge ]
Death or Neurologic Disability, Defined as an NIHSS>4 or ASIA<25 [ Time Frame: Day 30 ]
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00647998 on Archive Site
  • CSF Markers of Ischemia [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]
  • Hemoglobin [ Time Frame: Day 7, day 30 ]
Same as current
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The Darbepoetin Alfa for Ischemic Surgical Complications (DISC) Dose Finding Trial
Phase 2 Dose Finding Trial of Prophylactic Darbepoetin Alfa to Improve Outcomes From Ischemic Complications of Surgery
Numerous neuroprotectants have been effective when given prior to ischemic stroke in animals, yet they have all have failed when given after ischemic stroke in humans. A novel approach to ischemic neuroprotection is needed. Many patients who undergo cardiac, vascular, and neurosurgical procedures develop ischemic central nervous system (CNS) complications. These high risk surgeries present a unique opportunity to administer neuroprotectant medication prior to the injury, greatly increasing the likelihood that it will have a positive impact on outcomes. Patients undergoing descending thoracic aortic (DTA) and thoracoabdominal aortic (TAA) surgery have a particularly high rate of both brain and spine ischemia. In addition, these surgeries require placement of a lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drain, allowing access to CSF in order to monitor markers of injury and penetration of medication into the CNS. We are performing a pilot dose finding trial of prophylactic darbepoetin alfa, a long-acting erythropoiesis medication with putative neuroprotectant properties, in patients undergoing DTA and TAA surgery.
Not Provided
Phase 2
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
  • Spinal Ischemia
  • Stroke
  • Neuroprotection
  • Drug: Darbepoetin alfa
    Patients will receive one IV injection of Darbepoetin alfa at doses ranging from 1mcg/kg to 6.5 mcg/kg prior to surgery
    Other Name: Aranesp
  • Other: Standard care
  • Experimental: Darbepoetin
    Patients received 1mg/kg IV Darbepoetin immediately prior to surgery
    • Drug: Darbepoetin alfa
    • Other: Standard care
  • Placebo Comparator: Standard care
    No Darbepoetin
    Intervention: Other: Standard care
Messé SR, McGarvey ML, Bavaria JE, Pochettino A, Szeto WY, Cheung AT, Leitner E, Miller SW, Kasner SE. A pilot study of darbepoetin alfa for prophylactic neuroprotection in aortic surgery. Neurocrit Care. 2013 Feb;18(1):75-80. doi: 10.1007/s12028-012-9710-4.

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
October 2010
July 2010   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Are men and women between the ages of 18 - 100 years old (inclusive)
  • Require descending thoracic or thoracoabdominal aorta surgical repair
  • Can provide informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Have a traumatic aortic dissection
  • Have a baseline NIHSS > 1 or modified Rankin Scale > 1
  • Have a history of stroke or myocardial infarction within the past 30 days
  • Have a preoperative hemoglobin < 9 or > 14
  • Have a history of polycythemia vera or essential thrombocytosis
  • Have a history of hematologic malignancy
  • Have a history of arterial or venous thrombosis in the past three months
  • Have uncontrolled hypertension
  • Have active malignancy requiring treatment
  • Are receiving hemodialysis
  • Are currently using recombinant human erythropoietin or darbepoetin alfa, or have an expectation to require these medications within 30 days of surgery.
  • Have a known allergy to recombinant human erythropoietin or darbepoetin alfa
  • Are pregnant or breast-feeding. Women of childbearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test (urine pregnancy test or serum beta-HCG)
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years to 100 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
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Steven Messe, University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Not Provided
Not Provided
University of Pennsylvania
November 2016

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP