Atrial fibrillation is linked to an increased risk of stroke. The most common mechanism is sluggish blood flow in the atria which then leads to the formation of blood clots. These blood clots form in the atria and can migrate from the heart to the brain to cause a stroke. There are five major predictors of stroke in patients with AFib. These predictors can be easily recalled by referring to the acronym CHADS:
Congestive heart failure
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Age greater than 75 years old (some consider age >65 an intermediate risk factor)
Stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) (in the past)
If you have at least one of these risk factors, Coumadin may be considered and is clearly beneficial when two or more risk factors are present. Also, if a patient with AFib does have a prior stroke or TIA and no other risk factors, Coumadin is recommended. Without any of the above risk factors, the patient is considered to have “Lone” atrial fibrillation and daily 325mg aspirin is sufficient. Other medical conditions like a history of gastrointestinal bleeding or other bleeding risk can affect whether or not Coumadin is recommended for you. The decision to treat with Coumadin is sometimes difficult and requires that your doctor carefully weigh the benefits of preventing a disabling stroke against the risk of bleeding.
Are you on Coumadin or at least an Aspirin right now?
i do take asa 325 because of subclavian stenosis. i have mod aortic mitral regurg left atrial enlargement pulm htn i dont know whether these rcho issues predispose one to more risk of clot or stroke 59 years old with normal bmi hyn high chol
When I was first diagnoised with a-fib my EP put me on 325mg of aspirin because it was considered a "lone" a-fib. About a year later I was switched to coumadin because my a-fib changed to a "rapid" a-fib and I had also developed a-flutter even thou my "chads" score was still a zero.