MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Although NOACs and aspirin are in general protective in different vascular beds, NOACs might be an attractive choice for stroke prevention in certain clinical situations, such as in people without recognized atrial fibrillation, but with an embolic stroke of undetermined source or atrial cardiopathy because of their propensity to also cause stroke through cardiac emboli.
Nonetheless, the benefit of NOACs over aspirin for stroke protection is likely to be less promising in people without atrial fibrillation, as compared to people with atrial fibrillation. Therefore it is even more important to clarify whether individual NOACs with of various doses harbor comparable risks of intracranial hemorrhage with aspirin based on the evidence currently available.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Rivaroxaban 15-20mg once daily substantially increased the risks of intracranial hemorrhage while rivaroxaban 10mg daily and apixaban 5mg twice daily were not.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Rivaroxaban 15-20mg once daily possessed substantial higher risks of intracranial hemorrhage than aspirin, its use in people without atrial fibrillation could not be encouraged.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: It may be worthwhile to conduct randomized controlled trials comparing certain NOAC (e.g. apixaban 5mg twice daily) and aspirin in patients without atrial fibrillation, but with potential sources of cardiac emboli that can cause stroke.
Huang W, Singer DE, Wu Y, et al. Association of Intracranial Hemorrhage Risk With Non–Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulant Use vs Aspirin UseA Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA Neurol. Published online August 13, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.2215
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