The Impact of Atherosclerotic Burden on Vascular Outcomes in Patients with Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation: The ATHENA study

Π. Χαλβατσιώτης: «Σε εγρήγορση για τις λοιμώξεις του αναπνευστικού – Προσοχή στις ευπαθείς ομάδες»
Παναγιώτης Χαλβατσιώτης: Το burnout στους παθολόγους είναι πολύ πιο ουσιαστικό από οποιαδήποτε άλλη ειδικότητα


Introduction: Patients with ischemic stroke (IS) and atrial fibrillation (AF) face a higher risk of recurrent vascular events. This study evaluates the impact of atherosclerotic vascular disease burden across different vascular territories on the risk of vascular events in patients with recent ischemic stroke and AF within 90 days. Patients and Methods: We included patients with IS and AF from the International RAF network in a prospective 90-day follow-up. Atherosclerotic vascular disease was identified by at least one of the following: Symptomatic ischemic heart disease, symptomatic peripheral artery disease, internal carotid stenosis ≥50%, or the presence of plaques in the aorta. The primary outcome was a composite of stroke, transient ischemic attack, systemic embolism, cerebral bleeding, and major extracranial bleeding within 90 days postacute stroke. Patients were categorized into 5 groups based on the number of affected atherosclerotic vascular territories, with those with no atherosclerotic vascular disease as the reference. Kaplan–Meier curves were generated and compared using the log-rank test to determine the predictive value of the number of diseased territories for the risk of events. Data analysis was performed with SPSS/PC Win Package 25.0. Results: Of the 2148 patients (mean age 77.59; 53.86% female), 744 (34.60%) had atherosclerosis. Multivariable analysis revealed that involvement of 3 (hazard ratio [HR] 2.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.20-6.53) or 4 (HR 6.81, 95% CI: 1.02-36.24) vascular territories was significantly associated with the risk of combined events. Conclusions: In patients with recent ischemic stroke and AF, atherosclerosis across multiple territories correlates with a higher risk of future vascular events.