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Study shows delayed-enhancement MRI may predict, prevent strokes
Date:2/8/2011

Laboratories, for the University of Utah's Division of Cardiology.

"Potentially, this will lead to improvement in current risk stratification schemes and enhance our understanding of the risks of thromboembolic (stroke) events in AF patients. We also hope this will lead to the development of effective strategies for stroke prevention."

Although the anticoagulant warfarin is highly effective in preventing strokes, the drug also is associated with life-threatening hemorrhaging and requires intensive dosage monitoring. Risk stratification schemes have been developed to tailor anticoagulation therapy to the patients' risk, and the CHADS2 index is the most accepted risk stratification model. Yet while this index is a valuable tool for predicting cerebrovascular events in high-risk patients, clinicians rely more heavily on clinical judgment when predicting thromboembolic risk in moderate-risk patients, a substantial portion of the AF population. The identification of novel, independent risk factors by DE-MRI may supplement existing tools to help guide clinician judgment in better allocating anticoagulation therapeutic strategies, especially with moderate risk AF patients.

The study concluded that LA fibrosis as determined through the use of DE-MRI is "associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism in AF patients. Clinician use of both a CHADS2 index and a quantified measure of atrial fibrosis has the potential to provide a more rigorous risk assessment and improve future risk stratification schemes."


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Contact: Kathy Wilets
kathy.wilets@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-5717
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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