Early apixaban therapy after ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.
The optimal timing of anticoagulation after stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is unknown. We aimed to objectively assess the rate of radiological hemorrhagic transformation (HT) associated with early anticoagulation.A prospective, open label study (NCT04435418) of patients with AF treated with apixaban within 14 days of ischemic stroke/TIA onset was conducted. Baseline and follow-up CT scans were assessed for HT and graded using European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study (ECASS) criteria. The primary endpoint was symptomatic HT. Incident HT rates were assessed as Objective Performance Criteria.One-hundred AF stroke patients, with a mean age of 79 ± 11 years were enrolled. Median infarct volume was 4 (0.5-10.75) ml. Median time from index event onset to apixaban initiation was 2 (1-6) days, and median baseline NIHSS was 4 (1-9). Asymptomatic HT on baseline imaging was present in 15 patients. Infarct volume (OR = 1.1, [1.02-1.12], p