To assess anticoagulation (AC) timing and appropriateness in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) or transient ischemic attack (TIA) due to atrial fibrillation (AF) in a predominantly Hispanic community hospital in the era of direct oral AC (DOAC) and endovascular thrombectomy (EVT).
Adult patients presenting with known or new-onset AF and primary diagnosis of AIS/TIA admitted to Baptist Hospital of Miami between January 2018 and January 2019 were included. AC appropriateness was determined on medical history and concordance with American Heart Association AHA/American Stroke Association (ASA) AC guidelines. Median time from AIS/TIA diagnosis to AC initiation was the primary endpoint. AC guideline concordance on admission and at discharge, discordant justification, and AC selection were secondary endpoints.
The sample included 120 patients. AC initiation was five days (interquartile range (IQR) 2-9) following AIS/TIA. Patients’ receiving intravenous (IV) alteplase experienced a 1.4-day delay in AC initiation (x̅=5.44, SE=1.05, p<.05). There was no significant delay for those receiving EVT. A symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation occurred in 3% (n=3) of patients; only one patient was initiated on AC prior to the event. No recurrent AIS/TIAs occurred prior to discharge. Guideline-based AC concordance increased by 14% to 96% from admission to discharge. Apixaban (78%, n=52) was the most prescribed anticoagulant during hospitalization.
This study suggests that early AC initiation for patients with AF and AIS/TIA with or without IV alteplase and/or EVT is a safe and effective stroke prevention intervention. Further, it identified a need for improved concordance with guideline-based AC within the clinic setting.
Cureus (2021) 13(8)
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