Atrial Fibrillation Had Less Impact on the Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Non-anticoagulated Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis: Insight from the RAKUEN study

Intern Med. 2018 Aug 15;57(16):2295-2300. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.0021-17. Epub 2018 Mar 30.


Objective The progress of non-anticoagulated patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing hemodialysis has not been determined. Using data from the RAKUEN (Registry of Atrial fibrillation in chronic Kidney disease Under hEmodialysis from Niigata) study, we examined the clinical characteristics and outcomes among hemodialysis patients with AF who were not receiving a vitamin K antagonist (VKA). Methods and Results Forty-three of 423 patients undergoing hemodialysis (-10%) were prescribed a VKA. The remaining 380 patients (age 64.8±12.8 years, male 70%) were enrolled in the present study. During a mean observation period of 36 months, AF (n=55) was independently associated with all-cause death (hazard ratio, 1.82; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-2.94; p=0.014), but was not associated with ischemic stroke (hazard ratio, 1.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.74-4.92; p=0.177) and major bleeding (hazard ratio, 1.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.80-4.08; p=0.150). The crude incidence rates of all-cause death and ischemic stroke in the AF patients were 15.75 (2.5-fold higher compared to the non-AF patients) and 3.63 (1.7-fold higher compared to the non-AF patients) per 100 person-years, respectively. Conclusion A great impact on death, but not ischemic stroke, was observed in non-anticoagulated hemodialysis patients with AF in comparison to those without AF from the analysis of the RAKUEN study.

Keywords: anticoagulation; atrial fibrillation; hemodialysis; mortality; stroke.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications*
  • Brain Ischemia / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / prevention & control


  • Anticoagulants