The Clinical Dilemma of Anticoagulation Use in Patients with Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy and Atrial Fibrillation

Rocco J. Cannistraro, James F Meschia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This review highlights current management of patients with concomitant cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and atrial fibrillation (AF). We review quantifying risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke as well as treatments to minimize future risk. Recent Findings: Ischemic stroke risk in AF can be quantified by CHA2DS2-VASc and assessing left atrial echocardiographic characteristics. Patients deemed not low risk by CHA2DS2-VASC should be anticoagulated. CAA increases intracranial hemorrhage risk. CAA biomarkers include cortical microbleeds (CMBs), cortical superficial siderosis (cSS), convexal subarachnoid hemorrhage (cSAH), and lobar intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). CAA with prior lobar ICH has an annual recurrence rate of 8.9%. CAA with cSAH carries an even higher annual lobar ICH risk of 19%. CMBs are associated with a dose-dependent risk of ICH, which rises with OACs. Summary: In patients with AF, antithrombotics should be avoided in CAA with predominant ICH, cSS, or cSAH features. Those with ≥ 2 CMB require in-depth risk-benefit analysis using a multidisciplinary approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018



  • Anticoagulation
  • Antithrombotics
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cerebral amyloid angiopathy
  • Cerebral microbleeds
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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