International Journal of clinical practice 1999;53:273-6
A BHATTACHARYYA, SC SHARMA.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an important risk factor for ischaemic stroke, and anticoagulation is now indicated in many patients, particularly those with congestive cardiac failure, hypertension a history of transient ischaemic attacks or embolic stroke. In a retrospective study (and audit), we examined 280 cases of AF(acute, paroxysmal non sustained and chronic sustained) admitted to a general hospital in the UK. The commonest underlying medical condition was ischaemic heart disease (57%), while the commonest presenting feature was congestive cardiac failure (60%). Pharmacological cardioversion was preferred against electrical cardioversion for reverting to sinus rhythm. Fifty –six patients (20%) received warfarin, 55 patients (20%) were on aspirin, and the remaining 169 (60%) received neither warfarin nor aspirin. More awareness is needed among physicians managing AF particularly in relation to anticoagulation.