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Cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) can detect atrial arrhythmias, i. e. atrial high-rate episodes (AHRE). The thrombo-embolic risk in patients showing AHRE appears to be lower than in patients with clinical atrial fibrillation (AF) and it is unclear whether the former will benefit from oral anticoagulants. Based on currently available evidence, it seems reasonable to consider antithrombotic therapy in patients without documented AF showing AHRE >24 hours and a CHA2DS2-VASc score (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥75 years [doubled], diabetes mellitus, prior stroke [doubled], vascular disease, age 65–74 years and female sex) ≥1, awaiting definite answers from ongoing randomised clinical trials. In patients with AHRE <24 hours, current literature does not support starting oral anticoagulation. In these patients, intensifying CIED read-outs can be considered to find progression in AHRE duration sooner, enhancing timely stroke prevention. The notion that AHRE and stroke coincide perseveres but should be abandoned since CIED data show a clear disconnect.
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- Stroke risk in patients with device-detected atrial high-rate episodes
I. C. Van Gelder
H. J. G. M. Crijns
J. G. L. M. Luermans
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum