Cerebral thromboembolic risk in atrial fibrillation ablation: a direct comparison of vitamin K antagonists versus non-vitamin K-dependent oral anticoagulants

Adrian Petzl, Michael Derndorfer, Georgios Kollias, Kgomotso Moroka, Josef Aichinger, Helmut Pürerfellner, Martin Martinek

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE: Cerebral thromboembolic events are well-known complications of pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) and can manifest as stroke or silent cerebral embolic lesions. The aim of this study was to compare the incidence of cerebral embolic lesions (including silent cerebral embolism and stroke) after AF ablation in patients on vitamin K antagonists versus patients on non-vitamin K-dependent oral anticoagulants, and to identify corresponding clinical and procedural risk factors.

METHODS: A total of 421 patients undergoing PVI were prospectively included into the study. Of these, 43.7% were on VKA and 56.3% on NOAC treatment (dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban). In the NOAC group, 38% of patients had an interruption of anticoagulation for 24-36 h. All patients underwent pre- and postprocedural cerebral magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS: Periprocedural cerebral lesions occurred in 13.1% overall. Of these, three (0.7%) resulted in symptomatic cerebrovascular accidents and 52 (12.4%) in silent cerebral embolic lesions. Incidence of cerebral lesions was significantly higher in patients on NOAC compared with VKA (16% vs. 9.2%, respectively, p = 0.04), and in patients who had intraprocedural cardioversions compared with no cardivoersions (19.5% vs. 10.4%, respectively, p = 0.03). In multivariate analysis, both parameters were found to be independent risk factors for cerebral embolism. No significant difference between interrupted and uninterrupted NOAC administration could be detected.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients undergoing AF ablation, we identified the use of NOAC and intraprocedural cardioversion as independent risk factors for the occurrence of periprocedural cerebral embolic lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anticoagulants/therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation/diagnostic imaging
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Humans
  • Stroke/epidemiology
  • Thromboembolism/epidemiology
  • Vitamin K

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