Association of Atrial Fibrillation Detected after Stroke with Cardiac Dysfunction and Features of Neurogenic Cardiac Injury



      Understanding the link between markers of cardiac injury and atrial fibrillation (AF) detected after stroke (AFDAS) may help refine stroke risk stratification and therapeutic approaches in AFDAS.

      Materials and methods

      We retrospectively analyzed 988 adult patients admitted for acute ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack, who presented within 4.5 h from last known well. Pertinent clinical variables including features of neurogenic cardiac injury (so-called stroke heart syndrome [SHS]) as well as electrocardiographic and echocardiographic markers of cardiac dysfunction, and AF status (no AF n = 574; known AF n = 311; AFDAS; n = 103) were collected. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the independent associations of variables with AFDAS.


      A total of 264 (26.7%) subjects fulfilled criteria for SHS. Of these, 174 of had SHS features other than AFDAS (non-AF SHS). Among 677 subjects without known AF, presence of non-AF SHS was associated with a 5-fold odds of AFDAS (OR 5.0, 95%-CI 3.1–8.0, p < 0.001). After adjustment, non-AF SHS (OR 3.2, 95%-CI 1.6–6.4, p = 0.001) and the left atrial volume index (OR 1.04, 95%-CI 1.01–1.08, p = 0.004) remained independently associated with AFDAS.


      The presence of non-AF SHS features and the left atrial volume index were independently associated with AFDAS indicating diverse mechanisms relating to new onset AF. A better understanding of the links between these markers and AFDAS may help uncover potentially modifiable risk factors for AFDAS as well as aid treatment decisions in patients at risk for new onset AF and ischemic stroke.

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