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June 1, 2021

Detection of Subclinical Atrial Fibrillation After Stroke: Is There Enough Evidence to Treat?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
  • 2Division of Cardiology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
JAMA. 2021;325(21):2157-2159. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.7429

Atrial fibrillation (AF), persistent or paroxysmal with high frequency, is present and assumed to be the cause or a contributing factor in more than 20% of ischemic strokes in the US.1 The prevalence of AF is accompanied by expanding evidence of infrequent and often shorter duration AF episodes in additional patients. Subclinical AF consists of asymptomatic, low-frequency episodes of AF detected on heart rhythm monitoring by implantable or external and wearable monitors and is often not identified at the time of initial stroke workup, but is found during extended rhythm monitoring.2