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New oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are an alternative for vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) to prevent stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF). Both physicians and patients will have to learn how to use these drugs effectively and safely in clinical practice. Many unresolved questions on how to optimally use these drugs in specific clinical situations remain. The European Heart Rhythm Association set out to coordinate a unified way of informing physicians on the use of the different NOACs. A writing group listed 15 topics of concrete clinical scenarios and formulated as practical answers as possible based on available evidence. The 15 topics are: (1) Practical start-up and follow-up scheme for patients on NOACs; (2) How to measure the anticoagulant effect of NOACs; (3) Drug-drug interactions and pharmacokinetics of NOACs; (4) Switching between anticoagulant regimens; (5) Ensuring compliance of NOAC intake; (6) How to deal with dosing errors; (7) Patients with chronic kidney disease; (8) What to do if there is a (suspected) overdose without bleeding, or a clotting test is indicating a risk of bleeding? (9) Management of bleeding complications; (10) Patients undergoing a planned surgical intervention or ablation; (11) Patients undergoing an urgent surgical intervention; (12) Patients with AF and coronary artery disease; (13) Cardioversion in a NOAC-treated patient; (14) Patients presenting with acute stroke while on NOACs; (15) NOACs vs. VKAs in AF patients with a malignancy. Since new information is becoming available at a rapid pace, an EHRA Web site with the latest updated information accompanies this text (www.NOACforAF.eu).
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Europace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhyt
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Cessation of heart beat or MYOCARDIAL CONTRACTION. If it is treated within a few minutes, heart arrest can be reversed in most cases to normal cardiac rhythm and effective circulation.
A cardiac arrhythmia that is caused by interaction of two independently initiated cardiac impulses of different rates from two separate foci. Generally one focus is the SINOATRIAL NODE, the normal pacemaker. The ectopic focus is usually in the HEART VENTRICLE but can be in the HEART ATRIUM or the ATRIOVENTRICULAR NODE. Modulation of the parasystolic rhythm by the sinus rhythm depends on the completeness of entrance block surrounding the parasystolic focus.
Abnormal cardiac rhythm that is characterized by rapid, uncoordinated firing of electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (HEART ATRIA). In such case, blood cannot be effectively pumped into the lower chambers of the heart (HEART VENTRICLES). It is caused by abnormal impulse generation.
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The collective designation of three organizations with common membership: the European Economic Community (Common Market), the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). It was known as the European Community until 1994. It is primarily an economic union with the principal objectives of free movement of goods, capital, and labor. Professional services, social, medical and paramedical, are subsumed under labor. The constituent countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. (The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1997, p842)
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