Recent advances in the understanding and management of atrial fibrillation: a focus on stroke prevention.

Shahid, Farhan ORCID: 0000-0001-7635-5703, Shantsila, Eduard ORCID: 0000-0002-2429-6980 and Lip, Gregory YH ORCID: 0000-0002-7566-1626
(2016) Recent advances in the understanding and management of atrial fibrillation: a focus on stroke prevention. F1000Research, 5. 2887 - ?.

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased risk of stroke compared with the general population. It is anticipated that by 2030 an estimated 14-17 million patients will be diagnosed with this most prevalent arrhythmia within the European Union. AF-related stroke confers a higher mortality and morbidity risk, and thus early detection and assessment for the initiation of effective stroke prevention with oral anticoagulation (OAC) is crucial. Recent guidelines point to the use of non-vitamin K antagonist OACs (NOACs) where appropriate in stroke prevention of patients with non-valvular AF. At present, there are four NOACS available, with no direct head-to-head comparisons to suggest the superiority of one drug over another. Simple and practical risk assessment tools have evolved over the years to facilitate stroke and bleeding risk assessment in busy clinics and wards to aid decision-making. At present, the CHA 2DS 2VASc (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age 65-74/>75, diabetes mellitus, stroke/transient ischemic attack/thromboembolism, vascular disease, female sex) score is recommended by many international guidelines as a simple and practical method of assessing stroke risk in such patients. Alongside this, use of the HAS BLED (hypertension systolic blood pressure >160 mmHg, abnormal liver/renal function [with creatinine ≥200 μmol/L], stroke, bleeding history or predisposition, labile international normalized ratio [range <60% of the time], elderly [>65], concomitant drugs/alcohol) score aims to identify patients at high risk of bleeding for more regular review and follow-up and draws attention to potentially reversible bleeding risk factors. The aim of this review article is to provide an overview of recent advances in the understanding and management of AF with a focus on stroke prevention.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2019 16:51
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2019 17:10
DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.10176.1
Open Access URL:
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