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Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0104-4230


MACEDO, Paula Gonçalves et al. Oral anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation: from guidelines to bedside. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2010, vol.56, n.1, pp.56-61. ISSN 0104-4230.

OBJECTIVE: Although oral anticoagulation has proved beneficial for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and embolic risk factors, it is still underused. The objective of this study was to evaluate the adequacy of anticoagulation therapy in patients with AF followed in a private clinic specialized in cardiology, in accordance with the American and European societies of cardiology guidelines/2006 and with the Brazilian Guidelines/2003. METHODS: Between November 2005 and August 2006, we evaluated 7,486 electrocardiograms and selected 53 patients with AF and complete chart records. Clinical characteristics, including embolic risk factor, echocardiographic data and medical treatment were reviewed. RESULTS: Among the 53 patients (68±16 years; 29 men), 25 (48%) had hypertension, 20 (38%) heart failure and 3 (6%) diabetes. Among the 15 patients with high embolic risk, 13 (86%) were on oral anticoagulation. In accordance with the American and European guidelines: 32 (60%) patients were Class I, 17 (32%) Class IIa, 1 (2%) Class IIb and 3 (6%) Class III. Treatment was adequate in 21 (66%) Class I patients and 13 (76%) Class IIa. In these, anticoagulation therapy was used in 7/19 (37%) patients > 75 years compared to 22/30 (73%) younger. Among the 3 patients within Class III, 1 was incorrectly on OAC. According to Brazilian guidelines, 33 (62%) were on correctly indicated antithrombotic therapy. There was no difference in the appropriate prescription of oral anticoagulants, comparing the international and Brazilian guidelines (55% vs. 55%). CONCLUSION: According to recent guidelines, anticoagulant therapy has been adequately prescribed for the majority of AF patients, although this is still far from ideal, especially in a cardiology clinic. It is even more critical in the group of older patients.

Keywords : Atrial Fibrillation; Anticoagulants; Practice guideline.

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