Anticoagulation is indicated in most cardioembolic ischemic strokes for secondary prevention. In many cardiac conditions, anticoagulation is also indication for primary stroke prevention, mainly when associated to vascular risk factors. Anticoagulation should be started as soon as possible, as it is safe even in moderate acute strokes. The efficacy of early anticoagulation after cardioembolic stroke in relation to outcome has not been assessed adequately, but there is evidence from animal models and clinical studies that anticoagulation with unfractionated heparin is associated with a better outcome mediated in part by its anti-inflammatory properties.
Keywords: Anticoagulation, heparin, oral anticoagulants, prevention, inflammation
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