Thromboembolism is the crucial cause of ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Anticoagulation therapy with vitamin K antagonists, such as warfarin, have been proven to be effective for stroke prevention in AF. Nonetheless, the use of warfarin may be limited due to increased risk of bleeding, the potential interaction with multiple foods and drugs, and the need for routine coagulation monitoring. Over the last decade anticoagulants, such as dabigatran and rivaroxaban, have been developed and have shown superiority compared to warfarin for preventing stroke in patients with nonvalvular AF in large randomized trials. In addition, on account of the risk of thrombus formation in the left atrial appendage (LAA), many nonpharmacologic approaches have been developed to reduce stroke risk in patients with AF who are not candidates for anticoagulant therapy. Surgical, epicardial, and endovascular techniques for LAA closure are being investigated currently. Both novel pharmacotherapy and nonpharmacologic approaches for stroke prevention will be detailed in this review.
- Atrial fibrillation
- new technology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine