Echocardiographic Risk Factors for Stroke and Outcomes in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Anticoagulated With Apixaban or Warfarin.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Few data exist on the long-term outcomes of patients with spontaneous echo contrast (SEC), left atrial/left atrial appendage (LA/LAA) thrombus, and complex aortic plaque (CAP), in patients with atrial fibrillation receiving oral anticoagulation. We explored the relationship between these 3 echocardiographic findings and clinical outcomes, and the comparative efficacy and safety of apixaban and warfarin for each finding. METHODS: Patients from the ARISTOTLE trial (Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation) with SEC, LA/LAA thrombus, or CAP diagnosed by either transthoracic or transesophageal echocardiography were compared with patients with none of these findings on transesophageal echocardiography. RESULTS: A total of 1251 patients were included: 217 had SEC, 127 had LA/LAA thrombus, 241 had CAP, and 746 had none. The rates of stroke/systemic embolism were not significantly different among patients with and without these echocardiographic findings (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.25-3.60 for SEC; hazard ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-6.86 for LA/LAA thrombus; hazard ratio, 2.21; 95% confidence interval, 0.71-6.85 for CAP). Rates of ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, cardiovascular death, and all-cause death were also not different between patients with and without these findings. For patients with either SEC or CAP, there was no evidence of a differential effect of apixaban over warfarin. For patients with LA/LAA thrombus, there was also no significant interaction, with the exception of all-cause death and any bleeding where there was a greater benefit of apixaban compared with warfarin among patients with no LA/LAA thrombus. CONCLUSIONS: In anticoagulated patients with atrial fibrillation and risk factors for stroke, echocardiographic findings do not seem to add to the risk of thromboembolic events. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00412984.
Vinereanu, D; Lopes, RD; Mulder, H; Gersh, BJ; Hanna, M; de Barros E Silva, PGM; Atar, D; Wallentin, L; Granger, CB; Alexander, JH; ARISTOTLE Investigators,
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