Anticoagulation with warfarin is the most effective means of reducing stroke in AF. The generally recommended INR goal is 2-3. Aspirin provides a modest degree of stroke protection in AF but is inferior to warfarin. Assessment of stroke risk is critical in determining whether to prescribe warfarin therapy to a patient with AF. The most important risk factors for stroke in AF are age over 65 years, hypertension, prior stroke, and left ventricular dysfunction or heart failure. The risk of warfarin may be less than commonly believed, but increases when warfarin is combined with aspirin. Patients with paroxysmal AF are not at lower risk of stroke than those with persistent AF and should be treated with warfarin. Apparently successful therapy with antiarrhythmic agents does not eliminate the need for anticoagulation. New antithrombotic therapies are being studied and may soon provide an alternative to warfarin.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Medicine and health, Rhode Island|
|State||Published - Apr 2004|