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Open Access Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation: Current Strategies and Recommendations

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Stroke is the most common complication of atrial fibrillation (AF). Guidelines recommend anticoagulant treatment in patients with CHA2DS2VASc scores of >2. Registry data suggests that almost half of patients who should be on therapeutic anticoagulation for stroke prevention in AF (SPAF) are not. Warfarin and more recently developed agents, the “novel anticoagulants” (NOACs) reduce the risk of embolic strokes. In addition, the NOACs also reduce intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) by over 50% compared to warfarin. Anticoagulation and bridging strategies involving cardioversion, catheter ablation, and invasive/surgical procedures are reviewed. The development of reversal agents for NOACs and the introduction of left atrial appendage occluding devices will evolve the use of newer strategies for preventing stroke in high risk AF patients.

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Keywords: anticoagulants; atrial fibrillation; stroke

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2016

More about this publication?
  • Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) publishes focused articles and original clinical research that explore novel developments in cardiovascular disease, effective control and rehabilitation in cardiovascular disease, and promote cardiovascular innovations and applications for the betterment of public health globally. The journal publishes basic research that has clinical applicability in order to promote timely communication of the latest insights relating to coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, prevention of cardiovascular disease with a heavy emphasis on risk factor modification. Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications is the official journal of the Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology (GW-ICC). It aims to continue the work of the GW-ICC by providing a global scientific communication platform for cardiologists that bridges East and West.

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