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Atrial Fibrillation Detection and Cryptogenic Strokes

One-third of stroke and transient ischemic attacks are categorized as having no known cause, or cryptogenic. Recent studies have suggested that atrial fibrillation (AF) could be a possible cause for these cryptogenic strokes. If atrial fibrillation is known or suspected, early detection and monitoring is key.

In a study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, patients without known atrial fibrillation, who had had a cryptogenic ischemic stroke, were monitored by mobile telemetry for 30 days. The study concluded that 12-15% of strokes were possibly caused by atrial fibrillation and raised the importance of early detection.

In addition to MCT, implantable loops are a new alternative that have also proven effective. These implantable cardiac monitoring systems are particularly useful either when symptoms are infrequent or when long-term data is required.

Based on the NEJM study, the use of mobile cardiac monitoring to detect and manage atrial fibrillation can also reduce a patient’s risk for stroke. Early detection is critical to identifying preventive treatment before an AF-related stroke occurs.

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