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Invited Commentary
February 2017

When Does High Risk for Stroke Become Low Risk After Atrial Fibrillation Ablation?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cardiac Electrophysiology Section, Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(2):152-154. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.4228

The standard treatment for patients with a CHA2DS2-VASc (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥75 years [doubled], diabetes, stroke [doubled], vascular disease, age 65-74 years, sex category [female]) score of 2 or more and documented atrial fibrillation (AF) is to maintain chronic oral anticoagulation (OAC) therapy. Because of the concern about high rates of recurrence after AF ablation, the published guidelines from 2012 recommended continuing OAC therapy in patients with a high CHA2DS2-VASc score after ablation.1 During follow-up, our patients without recurrence of AF frequently introduce a common refrain: “My AF is gone—why am I still on OAC? You don’t start OAC in patients with risk factors but no AF, do you?”

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