About the Spotrias Network

Despite enormous research efforts including many clinical trials, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) remains the only FDA-approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke. Clinical trials that demonstrated the efficacy of tPA showed an improved outcome when tPA was given within three hours of stroke onset. The requirement for administration within three hours of stroke onset has proven to be a major obstacle to the widespread use of tPA. Delays in the response to stroke by medical personnel and the risks inherent in the use of tPA, which require careful patient evaluation before treatment, contribute to the inability to extend its benefits to many stroke victims. Dramatic improvements in stroke outcomes could be achieved by reducing the time necessary to respond to and diagnose stroke and by identifying new interventions that could be safely and expeditiously administered to a wider range of patients.


The objective of the SPOTRIAS is to facilitate translation of basic research findings into clinical practice in settings where patients with acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke are evaluated and treated very rapidly after the onset of their symptoms. This program seeks to encourage clinical research directed toward improved treatments and treatment strategies for stroke. Basic research will be included if it will add to the overall progress made by the collaborative translational program. Because of the importance of early treatment in translational research, SPOTRIAS will be established at institutions with a strong commitment to the rapid treatment of acute stroke patients and which have demonstrated an active collaboration between emergency medical services, emergency physicians, neurologists, and radiologists.


Using its shared resources, a SPOTRIAS will add to the scientific information base and maintain state-of-the-art research that contributes to improved rapid treatment of acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Components of each SPOTRIAS will include a special stroke response group that treats patients in the emergency department, a biostatistical and data management core, and a human tissue core (blood, genetic samples, and any autopsy material). SPOTRIAS are expected to conduct a wide spectrum of research activities, and to contribute significantly to the development of specialized research resources, to the development of improved research model systems and to the expansion of the research base through collaborative research with scientists and clinicians in other institutions locally and nationwide. The research supported through this program must have translational potential or significance, i.e., it must apply information developed in basic research laboratories to the design of clinical research that will test interventions or methods for improving the outcomes for patients with acute hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke. Translational research bridges the gap between the discoveries of basic scientists and definitive phase III trials of efficacy for specific treatments.