Incidence of Acute Ischemic Stroke in Hospitalized Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Who Had Anticoagulation Interruption: A Retrospective Study

Syed Mustajab Hasan, Mohammed Faluk, Ramy Abdelmaseih, Jay D. Patel, Ravi Thakker, Jay J. Chacko, Dewid Zayas, Alexis Finer, Aiham Albaeni, Khalid Abusaada


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the leading causes of acute ischemic stroke requiring anticoagulation. Many patients experience treatment interruption in the hospital setting. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of anticoagulation interruption on short-term risk of ischemic stroke in hospitalized patients with AF.

Methods: We performed a retrospective medical record review using the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) database. We included patients admitted to our institution between December 2015 and December 2018 who had a prior history of AF. Patients were excluded if they had ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, history venous thromboembolism or mechanical valve on admission. We compared the incidence of ischemic stroke in patients in whom anticoagulation was interrupted for more than 48 h to those who continued anticoagulation.

Results: A total of 2,277 patients with history of AF were included in the study. In this cohort, 79 patients (3.47%) had anticoagulation interruption of more than 48 h during their hospital stay. There was no difference in incidence of stroke between the interruption and no interruption groups (1.27% (n = 1) vs. 0.23% (n = 5), P = 0.19). Interruption of anticoagulation did not associate with a significant increase in the risk of in-hospital ischemic stroke. CHA2DS2VASc score was a strong predictor of in-hospital stroke risk regardless of anticoagulation interruption (odds ratio: 7.199, 95% confidence interval: 2.920 - 17.751).

Conclusion: In this study, the in-hospital incidence of ischemic stroke in patients with AF did not significantly increase by short-term anticoagulation interruption.

Cardiol Res. 2021;12(4):225-230


Atrial fibrillation; Ischemic stroke; CHA<sub>2</sub>DS<sub>2</sub>VASc score; Anticoagulation; Anticoagulation interruption; AF and stroke; In-hospital stroke

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Cardiology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1923-2829 (print), 1923-2837 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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