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Detection of Atrial Myopathy to prevent recurrent Embolic Stroke

Collaborating organisations listed below.

  • Cardiovascular Collaborative Grants
Date Funded:
  • 25 May, 2023
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Professor Mark Parsons
  • Professor Ben Freedman
  • Dr. Aditya Bhat
  • Professor Ken Butcher
  • Dr. Melissa Leung
  • Dr. Carlos Garcia-Esperon
  • Dr. Longting Lin
  • Professor Timothy Tan
  • Professor Tom Marwick
  • Professor Diane Fatkin

Project Summary

This project aims to assess Atrial Myopathy in stroke patients, so that all patients will get the most effective prevention of recurrent stroke.

What is the issue for NSW?

Ischaemic stroke has many causes, and one in four stroke patients have another stroke within three years. Cardioembolism is the most common cause of stroke and has high recurrence rates.

It is crucial to identify the cause of stroke to tailor secondary prevention, yet 25% of ischemic strokes are of indeterminate cause at the time of assessment, they are often labelled as ‘Embolic Stroke of Undetermined Source’ (ESUS); undetected atrial fibrillation and cardioembolism are often assumed causes.

We now recognise that atrial fibrillation is only one manifestation of an underlying atrial myopathy, which precedes development of the arrhythmia, often by years. Furthermore, atrial fibrillation can occur sometime after stroke, meaning we need diagnostic methods other than prolonged monitoring for atrial fibrillation to identify the high recurrence-risk cardioembolic subset within ‘Embolic Stroke of Undetermined Source.’

What does the research aim to do and how?

This research aims to understand relationship between atrial myopathy and stroke recurrence. This knowledge will help prevent stroke recurrence and reduce disability in stroke patients.

Atrial myopathy is a novel risk factor for stroke and potentially opens new areas of research, training and health service delivery.

This research will:

  • Establish more accurate atrial myopathy diagnostic criteria.
  • Enable monitoring of atrial myopathy and detection of recurrent stroke.
  • Enable tailoring of anticoagulant therapy for atrial myopathy and ESUS patients to reduce stroke recurrence.

Collaborating Organisations:

Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research

University of New South Wales

Heart Research Institute

South Western Sydney Local Health District

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

Western Sydney Local Health District

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute