Author + information
- P. Papakonstantinou,
- E. Simantirakis,
- E. Kanoupakis and
- P. Vardas
Long-term anticoagulation therapy is recommended for patients after their first atrial fibrillation (AF) episode if the CHA2DS2-VASc score is 1 or higher. Recent data suggests that only AF episodes with duration >24hours(h) increase significantly the risk of ischemic stroke. In this study, we observed the recurrence profile of the arrhythmia via implantable loop recorders (ILRs).
Thirty consecutive patients (mean age 66.9 ± 10 years; 14 men) received an ILR (Reveal XT 9529; Medtronic, USA) after their first episode of paroxysmal AF. Follow-up visits were scheduled to be performed for a period of three years.
In 3 patients (10%), no AF episode was recorded. Almost half of the patients (14/30) had a low recurrence rate of the arrhythmia (≤5 episodes/year), while the majority of patients (19/30) did not suffer from episodes with duration >24h. Eight patients had low recurrence rate of the arrhythmia along with episodes lasted <24h.
A significant percentage of patients (36,6%) did not suffer any other AF episode or had low recurrence rate along with episodes <24h. In the era of direct oral anticoagulants (rapid onset and offset) treatment strategies based upon the recurrence profile of the arrhythmia may benefit these patients and further studies should be performed.