Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Brief Clinical Note

Non-taking oral antithrombotic agents in patients with ischemic stroke

Yasuyuki Ito, M.D.1), Takashi Mitsufuji, M.D.1), Fumio Yamamoto, M.D.1), Yoichiro Hashimoto, M.D.1), Teruyuki Hirano, M.D.2) and Makoto Uchino, M.D.2)

1)Department of Neurology, Kumamoto City Hospital
2)Department of Neurology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University

Background: In clinical practice, secondary prevention in patients with ischemic stroke (IS) needs to be continued permanently; however, antithrombotic agents are sometimes stopped by clinicians or the patients themselves. The rate of non-taking oral antithrombotic agents was evaluated in IS patients. Methods: 266 consecutive patients (154 men and 112 women; age, 73.6±11.5 years) with first-ever acute IS were studied. Patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) were also included. Emboligenic heart diseases, frequency of past stroke, oral antithrombotic agent use just before IS, and secondary prevention were evaluated. Results: The number of past strokes was 0 in 182 cases (68.4%), 1 in 66 cases (24.8%), 2 in 14 cases (5.3%), 3 in 3 cases (1.1%), and 9 in 1 case (0.4%; 3 times with stroke, and 6 times with TIA). There were 42 cases (15.8%) with TIA, 47 (17.7%) with lacunar infarction, 69 (25.9%) with atherothrombotic infarction, 62 (23.3%) with cardioembolic infarction, 23 (8.7%) with other types of infarction, and 23 (8.7%) with stroke of unknown etiology. Although 15-26% of patients with their first IS had taken antithrombotic agents just before IS, about 40% of the patients with a previous IS history were not taking antithrombotic agents just before their recurrent IS. Conclusion: About 40% of the patients with recurrent IS were not taking antithrombotic agents at the time of their recurrent IS; had they been taking antithrombotic agents at the time, the recurrent IS might have been prevented. Clinicians must recognize the importance of antithrombotic agents in patients with IS, and patients must continue to take antithrombotic agents permanently.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (190K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 51: 35|37, 2011)
key words: ischemic stroke, secondary prevention, antithrombotic agents, continuing medication, outreach

(Received: 30-Mar-10)