Antiplatelet Agents and Oral Anticoagulant Use in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation and Carotid Artery Disease After First-Time Ischaemic Stroke

Link to article at PubMed

Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2023 Jan 24. doi: 10.1007/s10557-023-07433-4. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: People with atrial fibrillation (AF) frequently have competing mechanisms for ischaemic stroke, including extracranial carotid atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to determine associations between use of oral anticoagulants (OACs) plus antiplatelet agents (APA) after ischaemic stroke and outcomes for patients with AF and carotid artery disease.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted. Participants receiving OACs with or without APA were propensity score-matched for age, sex, ethnicity, co-morbidities and presence of cardiac and vascular implants and grafts. Outcomes were 1-year mortality, recurrent stroke and major bleeding.

RESULTS: Of 5708 patients, 24.1% (n=1628) received non-vitamin K antagonist OACs (NOACs) with no APA, 26.0% (n=1401) received NOACs plus APA, 20.7% (n=1243) received warfarin without APA and 29.2% (n=1436) received warfarin plus APA. There was no significant difference in risk of recurrent stroke between the groups. Compared to receiving NOACs without APA, receiving warfarin plus APA was associated with a higher risk of mortality (hazard ratio (HR) 1.51 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20, 1.89)) and major bleeding (HR 1.66 (95% CI 1.40, 1.96)). Receiving NOACs plus APA was also associated with a higher risk of major bleeding compared to NOACs without APA (HR 1.27 (95% CI 1.07, 1.51), respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest for patients with AF and carotid artery disease after ischaemic stroke, receiving NOACs without APA is associated with a lower risk of major bleeding with no negative impact on recurrent stroke or mortality. Evidence from randomised trials is needed to confirm this finding.

PMID:36692658 | DOI:10.1007/s10557-023-07433-4

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