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Keach JW, Bradley SM, Turakhia MP, Maddox TM. Early detection of occult atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention. Heart (British Cardiac Society). 2015 Jul 1; 101(14):1097-102.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a very common arrhythmia and significantly increases stroke risk. This risk can be mitigated with oral anticoagulation, but AF is often asymptomatic, or occult, preventing timely detection and treatment. Accordingly, occult AF may cause stroke before it is clinically diagnosed. Currently, guidelines for the early detection and treatment of occult AF are limited. This review addresses recent advancements in occult AF detection methods, identification of populations at high risk for occult AF, the treatment of occult AF with oral anticoagulation, as well as ongoing trials that may answer critically important questions regarding occult AF screening.