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01.12.2017 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Trials 1/2017

Perfusion by Arterial Spin labelling following Single dose Tadalafil In Small vessel disease (PASTIS): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Trials > Ausgabe 1/2017
Mathilde M. H. Pauls, Natasha Clarke, Sarah Trippier, Shai Betteridge, Franklyn A. Howe, Usman Khan, Christina Kruuse, Jeremy B. Madigan, Barry Moynihan, Anthony C. Pereira, Debbie Rolfe, Egill Rostrup, Caroline E. Haig, Thomas R. Barrick, Jeremy D. Isaacs, Atticus H. Hainsworth
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13063-017-1973-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Cerebral small vessel disease is a common cause of vascular cognitive impairment in older people, with no licensed treatment. Cerebral blood flow is reduced in small vessel disease. Tadalafil is a widely prescribed phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor that increases blood flow in other vascular territories. The aim of this trial is to test the hypothesis that tadalafil increases cerebral blood flow in older people with small vessel disease.


Perfusion by Arterial Spin labelling following Single dose Tadalafil In Small vessel disease (PASTIS) is a phase II randomised double-blind crossover trial. In two visits, 7-30 days apart, participants undergo arterial spin labelling to measure cerebral blood flow and a battery of cognitive tests, pre- and post-dosing with oral tadalafil (20 mg) or placebo. Sample size: 54 participants are required to detect a 15% increase in cerebral blood flow in subcortical white matter (p < 0.05, 90% power). Primary outcomes are cerebral blood flow in subcortical white matter and deep grey nuclei. Secondary outcomes are cortical grey matter cerebral blood flow and performance on cognitive tests (reaction time, information processing speed, digit span forwards and backwards, semantic fluency).


Recruitment started on 4th September 2015 and 36 participants have completed to date (19th April 2017). No serious adverse events have occurred. All participants have been recruited from one centre, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Trial registration

European Union Clinical Trials Register: EudraCT number 2015-001235-20. Registered on 13 May 2015.
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