Relation of Advanced Interatrial Block to Risk of Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke

Am J Cardiol. 2020 Jun 1;125(11):1745-1748. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.02.034. Epub 2020 Mar 16.


Advanced interatrial block (A-IAB) has been associated to atrial fibrillation (AF) and ischemic stroke, raising the question as to whether such patients, even when still in sinus rhythm without documented AF, could benefit from oral anticoagulation. AF and A-IAB are both markers of stroke. The anatomical substrate in both is fibrotic atrial cardiomyopathy, resulting in atrial electromechanical dyssynchrony, dysfunction, and left atrial remodelling, that favour blood stasis and hypercoagulation. Under these conditions thrombogenic cascade may be triggered, resulting in systemic embolization. Before proposing oral anticoagulation in the management of selected patients with A-IAB, as is currently recommended in patients with AF and high CHA2DS2-Vasc score, a randomized clinical trial will have to demonstrate efficacy and safety of anticoagulation in this setting. In the meantime, an individualized approach may be considered based on the recognition of those patients at a higher risk of stroke. These may be elderly patients with A-IAB and several risk factors and, thus, with a high CHA2DS2-Vasc score and the presence of environmental arrhythmias.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Remodeling / physiology
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiomyopathies / pathology
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology
  • Fibrosis
  • Heart Atria / pathology
  • Humans
  • Interatrial Block / complications
  • Interatrial Block / epidemiology*
  • Interatrial Block / physiopathology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Thrombophilia / physiopathology


  • Anticoagulants