Researchers find better way of assessing stroke risk

28th July 2015

Researchers say they have identified a better way of establishing which people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are at risk of having a stroke.

The risk of blood clots leading to strokes or other organ damage has been unclear in patients with HCM, say the team from University College London Hospitals. This is whether the people have the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (which can raise the risk of strokes) or not.

So the study aimed to find a model for estimating the risk in people with HCM.

More than 4,800 patients seen at seven centres were looked at in the study, recently published online in the European Journal of Heart Failure.

left atria

The study concluded that the risk of stroke could be identified using a small number of simple clinical features.

The size of the left atria (the upper right chamber of the heart) in particular, should be monitored closely, and the assessment and treatment of conventional heart risk factors should be routine practice in older patients.

Analysis showed for the first time evidence that vitamin K antagonists (warfarin) reduced risk, said the researchers. They added that the established CHA2DS2-VASc score system (for calculating stroke risk for patients with atrial fibrillation) did not appear to correlate well with outcomes for people with HCM and should not be used to assess risk.

For more details see here.