Anticoagulants Fail to Prevent Unexplained Strokes

February 7, 2024
Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil

Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil

A common practice of prescribing anticoagulants to people who have had unexplained strokes should stop, according to a study led by researchers at Columbia, Weill Cornell Medicine, and the University of Washington and published Feb. 7 in JAMA

Anticoagulants were thought to prevent additional strokes in people whose initial stroke has an unknown cause but who have a heart condition, atrial cardiopathy, that resembles atrial fibrillation, a common cause of stroke.  

“We know these drugs work for people with atrial fibrillation, so we thought that they would probably work for people with atrial cardiopathy as well,” says Mitchell Elkind, MD, professor of neurology at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and one of the study’s leaders. “That was the basis for the trial.”

But the trial of 1,015 people found that patients with atrial cardiopathy who were given the anticoagulant apixaban had the same stroke rate, 4.4%, as patients who were given aspirin, the current standard of care.  [read more]

Source: CUIMC Newsroom