While planning the GAIN International Study of gavestinel in acute stroke, a sequential triangular test was proposed but not implemented. Before the trial commenced it was agreed to evaluate the sequential design retrospectively to evaluate the differences in the resulting analyses, trial durations and sample sizes in order to assess the potential of sequential procedures for future stroke trials. This paper presents four sequential reconstructions of the GAIN study made under various scenarios. For the data as observed, the sequential design would have reduced the trial sample size by 234 patients and shortened its duration by 3 or 4 months. Had the study not achieved a recruitment rate that far exceeded expectation, the advantages of the sequential design would have been much greater. Sequential designs appear to be an attractive option for trials in stroke.

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