The newest findings in the field of anticoagulation for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF) were recently presented by experts from the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA). Portions of the research conducted in electrophysiology and cardiac techniques were slated to be presented during 30 EHRA sessions at Cardiostim, an international scientific congress in the field of electrophysiology and cardiac techniques.

According to a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) news release, the new updates presented focused on the validation of the CHA2DS22-VASc score to assess stroke risk in different independent populations. “The CHA2DS22-VASc score outperforms other stroke risk scores including the older CHADS2 score in identifying very low risk patients who do not need any antithrombotic therapy,” Gregory YH Lip, MD, University of Birmingham Center for Cardiovascular, United Kingdom, explains. Lip adds that in certain validations, the CHA2DS2-VASc also outperformed the CHADS2 score in predicting individuals who sustain a stroke subsequently.
The release notes that prior, patients with a CHADS2 score of zero were considered to be at low risk of stroke. The recent research results suggest that when the patients were substratified using the CHA2DS2-VASc score, they exhibited stroke rates ranging between 0.8% to 3.2% per year if untreated.

Results from a net clinical benefit analysis designed to balance ischemic stroke against intracranial bleeding, which reportedly focused on a dataset encompassing more than 180,000 patients with AF in Sweden, indicate that individuals with a CHA2DS2-VASc score less than one exhibited a positive clinical benefit when anticoagulated. The release reports that the findings were irrespective of bleeding risk, which was assessed by the HAS-BLED score.

The findings also support the potential introduction of the HAS-BLED bleeding score and a risk factor-based approach to stroke prevention in AF using the CHA2DS2-VASc score into the 2010 ESC Guidelines for the management of AF, researchers say. “Since 2010 there have been many new trials related to the new anticoagulants and therefore this is a very exciting time for stroke prevention,” Lip emphasizes.

Source: ESC