Systematic monitoring for detection of atrial fibrillation in patients with acute ischaemic stroke

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Systematic electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring improves detection of covert atrial fibrillation in stroke survivors but the effect on secondary prevention is unknown. We aimed to assess the effect of systematic ECG monitoring of patients in hospital on the rate of oral anticoagulant use after 12 months.

This systematic study concluded that systematic core centrally reviewed ECG monitoring is feasible and increases the detection rate of atrial fibrillation in unselected patients hospitalised with acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack, if added to usual diagnostic care in certified German stroke units. However, we found no effect of systematic ECG monitoring on the rate of oral anticoagulant use after 12 months and further efforts are needed to improve secondary stroke prevention. (Ref: Lancet Neurology, June 2021)

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