Abstract WP229: Randomised Clinical Trial of Early Prolonged Ambulatory Cardiac monitoring After Stroke (EPACS) Interim Analysis


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Abstract

Introduction: Cardioembolism in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) is a preventable cause of ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), but the transient nature of PAF means that a short-duration Holter monitor misses a significant proportion of cases. Systems for recording beyond 3-7 days have significant limitations: event-triggered loop recorders are cumbersome while implanted loop recorders require a minor surgical procedure. There is a need for a patient-friendly long-duration cardiac monitoring system for stroke patients which can be performed without significant delay from the index event and with superior yield to Holter ECG’s.Methods: We conducted a pragmatic randomised controlled trial of cardiac monitoring after an ischaemic stroke or TIA to increase detection of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (recruited within 72 hours of index event) using a wearable water-proof adhesive cardiac monitoring patch (Zio® Patch, iRhythm Technologies) that can be fitted immediately by the clinician early after the index event for up to 14 days or a standard Holter ECG. The trial aimed to recruit 120 patients across two locations - urban teaching hospital (Kings College Hospital, London) and suburban district hospital (Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington). ISCRTN Registration 50253271.Results: In August 2016, the interim analysis detected PAF in 4/17 cases in the active arm and 0/16 cases in the control arm. The commonest arrhythmias detected were atrial tachyarrhythmias followed by PAF. Those in the control arm of Holter ECG’s had significant delays to initiate cardiac monitoring due to scheduling delays and patient non-attendance. There were no device-attributable serious adverse events. Further late-breaking results will be available in February 2017.Conclusion: The convenience of the Zio® Patch cardiac monitor substantially increased the uptake and efficiency of cardiac monitoring early after ischaemic strokes and TIA.

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