Stroke due to atrial fibrillation in a population-based stroke registry (Ludwigshafen Stroke Study) CHADS(2) , CHA(2) DS(2) -VASc score, underuse of oral anticoagulation, and implications for preventive measures

F Palm, T Kleemann, M Dos Santos, C Urbanek, F Buggle, A Safer, M G Hennerici, H Becher, R Zahn, A J Grau
European Journal of Neurology: the Official Journal of the European Federation of Neurological Societies 2013, 20 (1): 117-23

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is amongst the most important etiologies of ischaemic stroke. In a population-based stroke registry, we tested the hypothesis of low adherence to current guidelines as a main cause of high rates of AF-associated stroke.

METHODS: Within the Ludwigshafen Stroke Study (LuSSt), a prospective ongoing population-based stroke register, we analyzed all patients with a first-ever ischaemic stroke (FEIS) owing to AF in 2006 and 2007. We determined whether AF was diagnosed before stroke and assessed pre-stroke CHADS(2) and CHA(2) DS(2) -VASc scores.

RESULTS: In total, 187 of 626 patients with FEIS suffered from cardioembolic stroke owing to AF, which was newly diagnosed in 57 (31%) patients. Retrospective pre-stroke risk stratification according to CHADS(2) score indicated low/intermediate risk in 34 patients (18%) and high risk (CHADS(2)  ≥ 2) in 153 patients (82%). Application of CHA(2) DS(2) -VASc score reduced number of patients at low/intermediate risk (CHA(2) DS(2) -VASc score 0-1) to five patients (2.7%). In patients with a CHADS(2) score ≥ 2 and known AF (n = 106) before stroke, 38 (36%) were on treatment with vitamin K antagonists on admission whilst only in 16 patients (15%) treatment was in therapeutic range.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study strongly supports the hypothesis that underuse of oral anticoagulants in high-risk patients importantly contributes to AF-associated stroke. CHA(2) DS(2) -VASc score appears to be a more valuable risk stratification tool than CHADS(2) score. Preventive measures should focus on optimizing pre-stroke detection of AF and better implementation of present AF-guidelines with respect to anticoagulation therapy.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"