Thrombosis prophylaxis in patients with ischaemic (cardioembolic) stroke. How long is long enough?

Gregory Lip, S Krishnamoorthy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Cardioembolism accounts for approximately 20% of ischaemic strokes, and is associated with high mortality and propensity to recurrences. Approximately, 30% of ischaemic strokes remain cryptogenic despite improved imaging modalities and technological improvements to identify their cause. Of the long list of various cardiac conditions associated with an increased risk of cardioembolic strokes, non-valvular atrial fibrillation is the most common cause. Unsurprisingly, the stroke risk associated with these conditions is highly variable and non-homogenous, with many risk factors additive to the overall risk profile. Treatment with vitamin K-antagonists substantially reduces the long-term complications associated with cardioembolism in some high-risk patients, for example, in atrial fibrillation. Careful selection of antithrombotic drug regime needs to be carried out in patients individually to minimise the risk of bleeding encountered with such therapy. Apart from atrial fibrillation, there is relatively limited evidence for the role of antithrombotic therapy for other cardiac conditions associated with cardioembolism and how long one should treat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-101
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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