Oral anticoagulants vs antiplatelets in cryptogenic stroke with potential cardiac emboli: Meta-analysis

Wen Yi Huang, Bruce Ovbiagele, Meng Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The best antithrombotic strategy for cryptogenic stroke with potential cardiac emboli is not known. The objective of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral anticoagulants (OACs) vs. antiplatelet therapies in these patients Methods: Pubmed, EMBASE, CENTRAL and clinicaltrials.gov were searched from January 1980 to April 2021 to identify trials comparing OACs versus antiplatelet therapies in patients with cryptogenic stroke and potential cardiac emboli (patent foramen ovale, moderate-severe left atrial enlargement, heart failure with reduced ejection fraction). Relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence (CI) was used as a measure of the effect of OACs versus antiplatelet therapies on recurrent ischemic stroke and major bleeding. We computed a random-effect estimate based on the Mantel-Haenszel method for a given outcome. Results: We identified 6 studies derived from 5 trials with 2282 patients. Pooled results from 6 studies showed that compared with antiplatelet therapies, OACs were associated with a lower risk of recurrent ischemic stroke (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.91, P=0.02). Only 3 studies of cryptogenic stroke with patent foramen ovale reported a major bleeding endpoint and pooled results from random-effects model showed that OACs compared with antiplatelet therapies were associated with a non-significantly increased risk of major bleeding (RR 1.61, 95% CI 0.76 to 3.40, P=0.21). Conclusions: OACs compared with antiplatelet therapies were associated with a reduced recurrent ischemic stroke risk and OACs might be a viable non-procedural alternative in patients with cryptogenic stroke and potential cardiac emboli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-49
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume95
DOIs
StatePublished - 01 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Keywords

  • Antiplatelet agents
  • Cryptogenic stroke
  • Meta-analysis
  • Oral anticoagulant
  • Recurrent stroke

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