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Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5(4), 384-397; doi:10.3390/ph5040384

Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation: Latest Clinical Trials and Guidelines

Cardiac Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology, Dante Pazzanese Institute of Cardiology, Sao Paulo 04012-180, Brazil
1506 Bristol Court, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, USA
Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division, Electrophysiology Service, Paulista School of Medicine, UNIFESP, Sao Paulo 04024-002, Brazil
Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division, Arrhythmia Service, McMaster University, Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton, ON L8L 2X2, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2012 / Revised: 16 March 2012 / Accepted: 28 March 2012 / Published: 5 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticoagulants)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [139 KB, uploaded 24 April 2012]


Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia and 1/6 strokes is attributed to AF. The cornerstone of treatment remains maintaining sinus rhythm or appropriate ventricular rate control in addition to prevention of stroke. Oral anticoagulation therapy (OAC) with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) has been the gold standard for almost 50 years and a significant reduction in the risk of stroke in patients with AF has been demonstrated. Nonetheless, only 50% of patients with guideline recommendations for OAC treatment actually receive VKAs and half of these will discontinue therapy within 3 to 5 years with only another half achieving therapeutic ranges more than 50% of the time. The aforementioned limitations in addition with frequent blood monitoring have prompted the development of a series of new OAC therapies. The present review focuses on the current pharmacological management for stroke prevention in patients with AF based on current and emerging evidence.
Keywords: atrial fibrillation; anticoagulants; stroke; prevention atrial fibrillation; anticoagulants; stroke; prevention
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Armaganijan, L.; Patel, D.; Dietrich, C.; Morillo, C.A. Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation: Latest Clinical Trials and Guidelines. Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5, 384-397.

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