Early Versus Late Initiation of Direct Oral Anticoagulants in Post-ischaemic Stroke Patients With Atrial fibrillatioN (ELAN): an International, Multicentre, Randomised-controlled, Two-arm, Assessor-blinded Trial "ELAN"


Phase N/A Results N/A

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria

- Written informed consent according to country specific details
- Age: ≥18 years
- Acute ischemic stroke, either confirmed by MRI or CT scan (tissue based definition) or by sudden focal neurological deficit of presumed ischaemic origin that persisted beyond 24 hours and otherwise normal non-contrast CT scan. Please note: prior intravenous or endovascular treatment is allowed.
- Permanent, persistent, or paroxysmal spontaneous AF previously known or diagnosed during the index hospitalization
- Agreement of treating physician to prescribe DOACs

Exclusion Criteria

- Atrial fibrillation due to reversible causes (e.g. thyrotoxicosis, pericarditis, recent surgery, myocardial infarct)
- Valvular disease requiring surgery
- Mechanical heart valve(s)
- Moderate or severe mitral stenosis. Please note that other valvular diseases and biological valves are eligible
- AF and conditions other than AF that require anticoagulation, including therapeutical dose of low-molecular-weight heparin or heparin. Please note: infratherapeutic anticoagulation at ischaemic stroke onset defined as follows is not an exclusion criteria:
- Vitamine K antagonist: International Normalized Ratio (INR) <1.7
- Anti-IIa: thrombin time <80 seconds and/or anti-IIa <50 ng/ml
- Anti-Xa: anti-Xa <50 ng/ml
- Subject who is contraindicated to DOACs
- Female who is pregnant or lactating or has a positive pregnancy test at time of admission
- Patients with serious bleeding in the last 6 months or is at high risk of bleeding (e.g. active peptic ulcer disease, platelet count < 100'000/mm3 or haemoglobin < 10 g/dl or INR ≥ 1.7, documented haemorrhagic tendencies or blood dyscrasias)
- Subject currently uses or has a recent history of illicit drug(s) or abuses alcohol (defined as regular or daily consumption of more than four alcoholic drinks per day)
- Severe comorbid condition with life expectancy < 6 months
- Severe or moderate renal insufficiency as defined by creatinine clearance < 50 ml/min
- Subject who requires haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis
- Subject with aortic dissection
- Current participation in another investigational trial
- Dual antiplatelet therapy at baseline or strong likelihood to be treated with dual antiplatelet therapy during the course of the trial
- CT or MRI evidence of haemorrhage classified as PH1 (defined as parenchymal haemorrhage = blood clots in <30% of the infarcted area without or with slight space-occupying effect) and PH2 (defined as blood clots in >30% of the infarcted area with a substantial space-occupying effect) independently of clinical deterioration. Please note that HI1 (defined as haemorrhagic infarct = small petechiae along the margins of the infarct) and HI2 (defined as confluent petechiae within the infarcted area but no space occupying effect) are acceptable if not associated with clinical deterioration and if the treating physician feels comfortable to treat patients with DOACs.
- CT or MRI evidence of mass effect or intra-cranial tumour (except small meningioma)
- CT or MRI evidence of cerebral vasculitis
- Endocarditis
- Evidence of severe cerebral amyloid angiopathy if MRI scan performed