Impact of standardized MONitoring for Detection of Atrial Fibrillation in Ischemic Stroke (MonDAFIS): Rationale and design of a prospective randomized multicenter study

Am Heart J. 2016 Feb;172:19-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2015.10.010. Epub 2015 Oct 21.


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is estimated to account for approximately every fifth ischemic stroke. In routine clinical practice, detection of undiagnosed, clinically silent AF represents a major diagnostic challenge, and in up to 30% of patients with ischemic stroke, AF remains undetected. The MonDAFIS study has been designed to quantify the diagnostic yield and clinical relevance of systematic electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring for patients with acute ischemic stroke during the subsequent in hospital stay.

Study design: A prospective randomized multicenter study in 3,470 patients with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack and without known AF on hospital admission. Over a period of approximately 2years, patients will be enrolled in about 30 German-certified stroke units and randomized 1:1 to receive either usual stroke unit diagnostic procedures for detection of AF (control group) or usual stroke unit diagnostic procedures plus standardized and centrally analyzed Holter ECG recording for up to 7days in hospital (intervention group). Results of the ECG core laboratory analysis will be provided to the patients and treating physicians. All patients will be followed up for treatment and cardiovascular outcomes at 6, 12, and 24months after enrollment.

Outcomes: The primary outcome of the randomized MonDAFIS study is the proportion of patients who receive anticoagulation therapy 12months after the index stroke. Secondary outcomes include the number of stroke patients with newly detected AF in hospital and the rate of recurrent stroke, major bleedings, myocardial infarction, or death 6, 12, and 24months after the index event. MonDAFIS will also explore patient-reported adherence to anticoagulants, the clinical relevance of short atrial tachycardia, or excessive supraventricular ectopic activity as well as cost-effectiveness of prolonged, centrally analyzed ECG recordings.

Conclusion: MonDAFIS will be the largest study to date to evaluate whether a prolonged and systematic ECG monitoring during the initial in hospital stay has an impact on secondary stroke prevention. In addition, prognosis as well as adherence to medication up to 2 years after the index stroke will be analyzed. The primary results of the MonDAFIS study may have the potential to change the current guidelines recommendations regarding ECG workup after ischemic stroke.

Trial registration: NCT02204267.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Brain Ischemia / complications*
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory / standards*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / trends
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors


  • Anticoagulants

Associated data