Antithrombotic Therapy for Stroke Patients with Cardiovascular Disease

Aaron M. Gusdon, Salia Farrokh, James C. Grotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prevention of ischemic stroke relies on the use of antithrombotic medications comprising antiplatelet agents and anticoagulation. Stroke risk is particularly high in patients with cardiovascular disease. This review will focus on the role of antithrombotic therapies in the context of different types of cardiovascular disease. We will discuss oral antiplatelet medications and both IV and parental anticoagulants. Different kinds of cardiovascular disease contribute to stroke via distinct pathophysiological mechanisms, and the optimal treatment for each varies accordingly. We will explore the mechanism of stroke and evidence for antithrombotic therapy in the following conditions: Atrial fibrillation, prosthetic heart values (mechanical and bioprosthetic), aortic arch atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure (CHF), endocarditis (infective and nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis), patent foramen ovale (PFO), left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). While robust data exist for antithrombotic use in conditions such as atrial fibrillation, optimal treatment in many situations remains under active investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-387
Number of pages23
JournalSeminars in neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • anticoagulation
  • antiplatelets
  • antithrombotics
  • cardiovascular disease
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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