NI Clinical Research Network Stroke Research Team recruit the 600th Patient to the MAPS-2 Clinical Trial in SEHSCT

February 7, 2024

Pictured: Stroke Research Team at Ulster Hospital, SEHSCT


Our SEHSCT Stroke Research team based at the Ulster Hospital have recruited their 10th patient to the MAPS-2 Trial: Metoclopramide for Avoiding Pneumonia after Stroke (a single-blind, randomised controlled trial of metoclopramide for the prevention of pneumonia in patients with dysphagia after an acute stroke.) The research team’s latest recruit brings the study total recruitment to 600 patients.


The Stroke team led by Dr Mark Bowman, Consultant Physician for Care of older people living with Stroke and Frailty, in conjunction with the University of Nottingham are hopeful this study will prevent death and pneumonia in patients who have had a stroke. Stroke is the second most common cause of death worldwide and the foremost cause of complex disability in the UK.


Pneumonia remains the main cause of death following a stroke and new approaches are needed to help prevent this. Pneumonia causes more deaths after a stroke than neurological damage, it increases a patients length of stay in hospital and affects their recovery with an increase in long-term disability and is very distressing for patients and families.


The MAPS-2 study will test ways of preventing pneumonia in patients admitted to hospital with an acute stroke and difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). The most important causes of pneumonia in stroke patients are inhalation of regurgitated or vomited stomach content. Aspiration pneumonia develops early, and often before the nasogastric tube is placed.  It is therefore important to start preventive measures as soon as possible after admission, ideally before moving the patient out of the emergency department.


This study aims to reduce gastric reflux and vomiting by the early use of an antiemetic (metoclopramide). Metoclopramide is a common drug that is widely used as an anti – sickness medication (antiemetic) with well-known effects and side effects. A previous small study has shown that prophylactic treatment with metoclopramide could reduce pneumonia after a stroke. While these results are promising, the study was too small to be certain that the treatment was effective. The purpose of this larger study is to test whether metoclopramide can prevent death and pneumonia in patients who have had a stroke.


Dr Lesia Kurlak the Clinical Trial Manager for MAPS 2 said,

“You’ve started the new year maintaining the same momentum as you had in 2023. Having enrolled the 600th patient and reached your own total of ’10’ already -rather poetic and awesome work – THANK YOU!”


To find out more about the MAPS 2 Trial click here