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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2013 Aug 6;133(14):1453-7. doi: 10.4045/tidsskr.12.0850.

[Atrial fibrillation and stroke].

[Article in Norwegian]

Author information

1
Nevrologisk avdeling, Klinikk for kirurgi og nevrofag, Oslo universitetssykehus, Rikshospitalet, Norway. anne.hege.aamodt@ous-hf.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

More than 70,000 Norwegians have atrial fibrillation, which is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke. A large proportion of ischemic strokes caused by atrial fibrillation could be prevented if patients receive optimal prophylactic treatment. This article describes the risk for ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, and discusses who should receive prophylactic treatment and which therapy provides the best prevention.

METHOD:

The article is based on recently published European, American and Canadian guidelines, a search in PubMed and the authors' own clinical experience.

RESULTS:

The new risk score CHA2DS2-VASc is better than the CHADS2 score for identifying patients with atrial fibrillation who have a truly low risk of ischemic stroke and are not in need of antithrombotic treatment. Oral anticoagulation therapy is recommended for patients with two or more risk factors for thromboembolism in addition to atrial fibrillation (CHA2DS2-VASc ≥ 2). Patients with atrial fibrillation and a single additional risk factor (CHA2DS2-VASc =1) an individual assessment should be made as to who should receive oral anticoagulants, and for patients with CHA2DS2-VASc = 0 antithrombotic treatment is not recommended. New oral anticoagulants are at least as effective as warfarin for preventing ischemic stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, they carry a lower risk of cerebral haemorrhage, especially intracranial haemorrhage and are more practical in use. Platelet inhibitors have a minimal role in stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

INTERPRETATION:

Risks stratifying patients using the CHA2DS2-VASc score is a better method for assessing which patients with atrial fibrillation who should receive oral anticoagulation. The introduction of new oral anticoagulants will simplify preventive treatment and hopefully lead to a more efficient anticoagulation treatment in a larger number of patients with atrial fibrillation.

PMID:
23929293
DOI:
10.4045/tidsskr.12.0850
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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