Cerebrovasc Dis. 2020 Nov 11:1-6. doi: 10.1159/000511393. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The present study aimed to clarify the association between left atrial (LA) size and ischemic events after ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).
METHODS: Acute ischemic stroke or TIA patients with NVAF were enrolled. LA size was classified into normal LA size, mild LA enlargement (LAE), moderate LAE, and severe LAE. The ischemic event was defined as ischemic stroke, TIA, carotid endarterectomy, carotid artery stenting, acute coronary syndrome or percutaneous coronary intervention, systemic embolism, aortic aneurysm rupture or dissection, peripheral artery disease requiring hospitalization, or venous thromboembolism.
RESULTS: A total of 1,043 patients (mean age, 78 years; 450 women) including 1,002 ischemic stroke and 41 TIA were analyzed. Of these, 351 patients (34%) had normal LA size, 298 (29%) had mild LAE, 198 (19%) had moderate LAE, and the remaining 196 (19%) had severe LAE. The median follow-up duration was 2.0 years (interquartile range, 0.9-2.1). During follow-up, 117 patients (11%) developed at least one ischemic event. The incidence rate of total ischemic events increased with increasing LA size. Severe LAE was independently associated with increased risk of ischemic events compared with normal LA size (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.75; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-3.00).
CONCLUSION: Severe LAE was associated with increased risk of ischemic events after ischemic stroke or TIA in patients with NVAF.