Stroke prophylaxis in critically-ill patients with new-onset atrial fibrillation

Abstract

Despite a high incidence of new onset atrial fibrillation (NOAF) in critically ill patients and its association with short and long-term incidence of stroke, there is limited data assessing anticoagulation on hospital discharge in these patients. We retrospectively reviewed electronic medical records of all adult patients admitted to non-cardiac ICUs at our institution between January 2009 and March 2016. Patients with NOAF were identified and CHA2DS2-VASc score of ICU survivors was calculated. Prescription of oral anticoagulant therapy on hospital discharge was analyzed. A total of 640 (1.7% [38,708 patients]; 95% CI 1.5%, 1.8%) patients developed NOAF during the study period. CHA2DS2-VASc score was calculated for 615 patients, of which 82.2% had a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥ 2. Of the 428 eligible patients, only 96 patients (22.4%) were discharged on oral anticoagulant therapy. Patients with a history of congestive heart failure (33.7% vs. 19.7%) and stroke/TIA or other thromboembolic disease (35.9% vs. 18.0%) were more likely to be discharged on an oral anticoagulant. Patients with a higher score were also more likely to be discharged on an oral anticoagulant (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.10, 1.47). NOAF is common in critically ill patients admitted to non-cardiac ICUs and a significant proportion of these patients have a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥ 2. However, only a minority of them are discharged on an oral anticoagulant. There is a need to identify ways to improve implementation of effective stroke prophylaxis in these patients.

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Correspondence to Kunal Karamchandani.

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Schoaps, R.S., Quintili, A., Bonavia, A. et al. Stroke prophylaxis in critically-ill patients with new-onset atrial fibrillation. J Thromb Thrombolysis 48, 394–399 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11239-019-01854-5

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Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Stroke prophylaxis
  • CHA2DS2-VASc score
  • New onset atrial fibrillation
  • Oral anticoagulation therapy