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Risk stratification of patients with atrial fibrillation in the emergency department

      Abstract

      Introduction and methods

      Early and accurate risk stratification of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) in the emergency department (ED) could aid the physician in determining a timely treatment strategy appropriate to the severity of disease. We conducted a retrospective review of 243 adult patients who presented to a tertiary ED with AF in 2017. Primary outcome studied was 30-day adverse event (a composite outcome of repeat visit to the ED, cardiovascular complications, and all-cause mortality).
      Secondary outcome studied was 90-day all-cause mortality. We compared the performance of the RED-AF, AFTER and CHA2DS2-VASc score by plotting receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and estimating the areas under curves (AUC), and assessed the potential to further improve the tools with their incorporation of new variables.

      Results

      Existing scoring tools had poor predictive value for 30-day adverse events, with the RED-AF score performing comparatively better, followed by the AFTER and CHA2DS2-VASc score. All scores performed collectively better to predict 90-day mortality, with the AFTER score performing the best, followed by the RED-AF and CHA2DS2-VASc score. By incorporating heart rate at initial presentation to the ED as a variable into the AFTER Score, we generated a Modified AFTER Score with superior predictive performance above existing scores for 90-day mortality.

      Conclusion

      Existing scores collectively performed poorly to predict 30-day adverse outcomes, but the AFTER and Modified AFTER score showed good predictive value for 90-day mortality. Further studies should be done to validate their use in guiding clinician’s disposition of patients with AF in the ED.

      Keywords

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