RESEARCH – September 2009

Anticoagulant use in stroke patients with atrial fibrillation in Tartu


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AIM. The present study assesses the use of anticoagulation in patients with ischaemic stroke and analyses the probable causes of anticoagulation underuse.
METHODS. A retrospective analysis based on case histories. All patients admitted to Tartu University Hospital, Department of Neurology with the diagnosis of ischaemic stroke and atrial fibrillation (AF) from January 2004 to December 2005 were included in the analysis.
RESULTS. A total of 155 stroke patients were enrolled in the study. Before hospitalization,  9% of the patients had used warfarin. Anticoagulation was continued in 8% of the patients, treatment was started during hospital stay in 4% and was recommended to start later in 10% the patients. In half of the patients, the reason for not prescribing anticoagulation was not discussed in the case history.
CONCLUSION. It can be concluded that anticoagulation is probably underused in stroke patients with AF and more attention should be paid to this important issue in primary and secondary prevention of stroke.