Atrial Fibrillation for the Neurologist: Preventing both Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Strokes

Atrial Fibrillation for the Neurologist: Preventing both Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Strokes

Symposium speakers, Edip Gurol and Marc Fisher, recently published with colleagues on Atrial Fibrillation for the Neurologist: Preventing both Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Strokes in Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports (Springer)

For the full article, please visit: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11910-018-0813-y


ABSTRACT

Purpose of Review

This review aims to help neurologists managing atrial fibrillation (AF) patients who had an ischemic stroke and/or with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) markers, therefore at high embolic/hemorrhagic risks.

Recent Findings

Implantable loop recorders have substantially improved the accuracy of AF detection. Recent research yielded a set of powerful neuroimaging markers that can stratify ICH risk. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) are easier to use with a lower ICH risk than warfarin in a general AF population. Finally, the FDA-approved left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) with the WATCHMAN device provides an option without the need for life-long anticoagulation.

Summary

In this review, we introduce the concept of preventing both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes in AF patients through accurate AF diagnosis and stratification of both embolic and ICH risks. LAAC can be considered in patients at higher hemorrhagic risks while warfarin/DOAC use should be individualized in the majority of AF patients at a low risk of bleeding.


​Gokcal, E., Pasi, M., Fisher, M., Gurol, M. E. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep (2018) 18: 6. 
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11910-018-0813-y