Prolonged monitoring times (72 hours) are recommended to detect paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (pAF) after ischemic stroke but this is not yet clinical practice; therefore, an individual patient selection for prolonged ECG monitoring might increase the diagnostic yield of pAF in a resource-saving manner.MethodsWe used individual patient data from 3 prospective studies (ntotal = 1,556) performing prolonged Holter-ECG monitoring (at least 72 hours) and centralized data evaluation after TIA or stroke in patients with sinus rhythm. Based on the TRIPOD (Transparent Reporting of a Multivariable Prediction Model for Individual Prognosis or Diagnosis) guideline, a clinical score was developed on one cohort, internally validated by bootstrapping, and externally validated on 2 other studies.ResultspAF was detected in 77 of 1,556 patients (4.9%) during 72 hours of Holter monitoring. After logistic regression analysis with variable selection, age and the qualifying stroke event (categorized as stroke severity with NIH Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score ≤5 [odds ratio 2.4 vs TIA; 95% confidence interval 0.8-6.9, p = 0.112] or stroke with NIHSS score >5 [odds ratio 7.2 vs TIA; 95% confidence interval 2.4-21.8, p < 0.001]) were found to be predictive for the detection of pAF within 72 hours of Holter monitoring and included in the final score (Age: 0.76 points/year, Stroke Severity NIHSS ≤5 = 9 points, NIHSS >5 = 21 points; to Find AF [AS5F]). The high-risk group defined by AS5F is characterized by a predicted risk between 5.2% and 40.8% for detection of pAF with a number needed to screen of 3 for the highest observed AS5F points within the study population. Regarding the low number of outcomes before generalization of AS5F, the results need replication.ConclusionThe AS5F score can select patients for prolonged ECG monitoring after ischemic stroke to detect pAF.Classification of evidenceThis study provides Class I evidence that the AS5F score accurately identifies patients with ischemic stroke at a higher risk of pAF.