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New anticoagulant treatments to protect against stroke in atrial fibrillation
  1. Tatjana S Potpara1,2,
  2. Gregory Y H Lip3,
  3. Stavros Apostolakis3
  1. 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
  2. 2Cardiology Clinic, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
  3. 3University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, City Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Stavros Apostolakis, University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH, UK; stavrosapos{at}


Warfarin has long been the ‘gold standard’ of oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF). Recently, the oral direct thrombin inhibitors and direct factor Xa inhibitors have emerged as attractive alternatives to warfarin and have already changed the landscape of stroke prevention in AF. The new anticoagulants have important advantages over warfarin. Despite their impressive performance in clinical trials, their long-term efficacy and safety still require evaluation in ‘real-world’ clinical practice. In this review, the emerging role of the new oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in patients with AF is discussed.

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • thromboembolism
  • anticoagulation
  • factor Xa inhibitors
  • direct thrombin inhibitors
  • vitamin K antagonists
  • arrhythmias
  • channelopathy
  • sudden cardiac death
  • heart failure
  • thrombosis
  • vascular biology
  • hypertension

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.