Intern Emerg Med. 2021 Oct 22. doi: 10.1007/s11739-021-02864-z. Online ahead of print.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent heart rhythm disorder in the general population. Stroke prevention is one of the leading management objectives in the treatment of AF patients. The variables associated with the non-initiation of thromboprophylaxis in patients with thrombotic risk consulting for an episode of AF in Emergency Departments (ED) were investigated. This was a multipurpose, analytical, non-interventionist, multicenter Spanish study with a prospective 30-day follow-up. All patients ≥ 18 years of age consulting to the ED for the casual finding of AF in an electrocardiogram (ECG) performed 12 h prior to the consultation or with symptoms related to AF were enrolled from September 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017. Patients not previously received thromboprophylaxis were selected. Multivariate analysis was performed to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and the 95% confidence interval (CI). A total of 634 patients, not received thromboprophylaxis and at high thrombotic risk, were included. Of these, 251 (39.6%) did not receive thromboprophylaxis at ED discharge. In the multivariate analysis, non-initiation of anticoagulation at discharge from the ED was mostly related to cognitive impairment (OR 3.95; (95% CI 2.02-7.72), cancer history (OR 2.12; (95%CI 1.18-3.81), AF duration < 48 h (OR 2.49; (95% CI 1.48-4.21) and patients with re-establishment of sinus rhythm (OR 3.65; (95% CI 1.47-9.06). Reinforcement of the use of CHA2DS2-VASC as a stroke risk scale and empowerment of ED physicians is a must to improve this gap in care.