Predictors for atrial fibrillation detection after cryptogenic stroke: Results from CRYSTAL AF

Vincent N. Thijs*, Johannes Brachmann, Carlos A. Morillo, Rod S. Passman, Tommaso Sanna, Richard A. Bernstein, Hans Christoph Diener, Vincenzo Di Lazzaro, Marilyn M. Rymer, Laurence Hogge, Tyson B. Rogers, Paul D. Ziegler, Manish D. Assar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Objective: We assessed predictors of atrial fibrillation (AF) in cryptogenic stroke (CS) or transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients who received an insertable cardiac monitor (ICM). Methods: We studied patients with CS/TIA who were randomized to ICM within the CRYSTAL AF study. We assessed whether age, sex, race, body mass index, type and severity of index ischemic event, CHADS2 score, PR interval, and presence of diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, or patent foramen ovale and premature atrial contractions predicted AF development within the initial 12 and 36 months of follow-up using Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Among 221 patients randomized to ICM (age 61.6 ± 11.4 years, 64% male), AF episodes were detected in 29 patients within 12 months and 42 patients at 36 months. Significant univariate predictors of AF at 12 months included age (hazard ratio [HR] per decade 2.0 [95% confidence interval 1.4-2.8], p 5 0.002), CHADS2 score (HR 1.9 per one point [1.3-2.8], p = 0.008), PR interval (HR 1.3 per 10 milliseconds [1.2-1.4], p < 0.0001), premature atrial contractions (HR 3.9 for >123 vs 0 [1.3-12.0], p = 0.009 across quartiles), and diabetes (HR 2.3 [1.0-5.2], p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, age (HR per decade 1.9 [1.3-2.8], p = 0.0009) and PR interval (HR 1.3 [1.2-1.4], p < 0.0001) remained significant and together yielded an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.78 (0.70-0.85). The same predictors were found at 36 months. Conclusion: Increasing age and a prolonged PR interval at enrollment were independently associated with an increased AF incidence in CS patients. However, they offered only moderate predictive ability in determining which CS patients had AF detected by the ICM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 19 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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