Background: Anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists and non-vitamin K antagonists oral anticoagulants (NOAC) is effective in stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, anticoagulation also poses a major challenge for emergency treatment of patients suffering ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage.
Aim: The registry RASUNOA-prime is designed to describe current patterns of emergency management, clinical course and outcome of patients with atrial fibrillation experiencing an acute ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage under different anticoagulation schemes prior to stroke (NOAC, vitamin K antagonists or no anticoagulation).
Methods and design: RASUNOA-prime (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02533960) is a prospective, investigator-initiated, multicentre, observational cohort study aiming to recruit 3000 patients with acute ischaemic stroke and atrial fibrillation, and 1000 patients with acute intracerebral haemorrhage and atrial fibrillation with different anticoagulation schemes pre-stroke. It is a non-interventional triple-armed study aiming at a balanced inclusion of ischaemic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage patients according to the different anticoagulation schemes. Patients will be followed up for clinical course, management and outcome up to three months after the event. Findings in ischaemic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage patients on NOAC will be compared with patients taking vitamin K antagonists or no anticoagulant pre-stroke.
Study outcomes: Primary endpoint for ischaemic stroke patients: occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage, for intracerebral haemorrhage patients: occurrence of secondary haematoma expansion. Secondary endpoints include assessment of coagulation, use of thrombolysis and/or mechanical thrombectomy, occurrence of complications, implementation of secondary prevention.
Summary: Describing the current patterns of early management as well as outcome of stroke patients with atrial fibrillation will help guide physicians to develop recommendations for emergency treatment of stroke patients under different anticoagulation schemes.
Keywords: Acute stroke; anticoagulants; intracerebral haemorrhage; non-vitamin K antagonists; vitamin K antagonists.