Echocardiogram Hypertension

AF screening and thromboembolic risk: How much AF is significant?

By Andre Briosa e Gala

Take Home Messages

  • AF may go undetected in patients until they experience a complication, such as an AF-related stroke.
  • Early diagnosis of AF and initiation of oral anticoagulation may prevent AF-related stroke and death. However, there are knowledge gaps regarding screening strategy and the thromboembolic risk related to duration of AF.
  • STROKESTOP and LOOP studies investigated the benefits of systematic screening in high-risk populations with different screening modalities.
  • Intermittent ECG screening in STROKESTOP yielded a small but significant net clinical benefit. Yet, there was no significant reduction in stroke and systemic embolism in patients screened with continuous rhythm monitoring and initiated on oral anticoagulation for AF.
  • Short-lasting AF episodes may not be clinically significant and the AF burden that warrants anticoagulation is yet to be determined.

View full article at the British Cardiovascular Society