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Geriatrics - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) in Stroke Patients with Concomitant Vascular Disease—A Randomized Controlled Trial
Published: Monday, May 23, 2011
Author: Agnes Floel et al.

by Agnes Floel, Tobias Warnecke, Thomas Duning, Yvonne Lating, Jan Uhlenbrock, Armin Schneider, Gerhard Vogt, Rico Laage, Winfried Koch, Stefan Knecht, Wolf-Rüdiger Schäbitz


G-CSF has been shown in animal models of stroke to promote functional and structural regeneration of the central nervous system. It thus might present a therapy to promote recovery in the chronic stage after stroke.


Here, we assessed the safety and tolerability of G-CSF in chronic stroke patients with concomitant vascular disease, and explored efficacy data. 41 patients were studied in a double-blind, randomized approach to either receive 10 days of G-CSF (10 µg/kg body weight/day), or placebo. Main inclusion criteria were an ischemic infarct >4 months prior to inclusion, and white matter hyperintensities on MRI. Primary endpoint was number of adverse events. We also explored changes in hand motor function for activities of daily living, motor and verbal learning, and finger tapping speed, over the course of the study.


Adverse events (AEs) were more frequent in the G-CSF group, but were generally graded mild or moderate and from the known side-effect spectrum of G-CSF. Leukocyte count rose after day 2 of G-CSF dosing, reached a maximum on day 8 (mean 42/nl), and returned to baseline 1 week after treatment cessation. No significant effect of treatment was detected for the primary efficacy endpoint, the test of hand motor function.


These results demonstrate the feasibility, safety and reasonable tolerability of subcutaneous G-CSF in chronic stroke patients. This study thus provides the basis to explore the efficacy of G-CSF in improving chronic stroke-related deficits.

Trial Registration NCT00298597