Atrial fibrillation


A 76 year old man presents with atrial fibrillation which is permanent. He is lucid and has specifically made an appointment with you to discuss the best way of stopping him “dying ” as a result of the AF.

Hypertension (treated), Mild COPD. Nil else of note.

Verapamil (as treatment for AF)
PRN inhalers

Lives alone. Independent. Can carry out all ADL’s (activities of daily living)

What is the anticoagulation schedule you would recommend to prevent stroke?

a. Clopidrogel
b. Warfarin
c. Aspirin
d. No anticoagulation
e. Warfarin and Aspirin

The answer is….. b. Warfarin

Based on NICE Guidance 36 (AF) and the CHADS 2 scoring system.

The CHADS2 score is an excellent aide memoir to anticoagulation in AF. It is based on:

CHADS2 Stands for Score
C Congestive heart failure 1point
H hypertension 1point
A Age>75 1point
D Diabetes Mellitus 1point
S2 Previous stroke/ TIA 2 points


  • 2 or over=Warfarin
  • 1= Warfarin or aspirin
  • 0=aspirin

This means our chap here will score:

  • 1 for being >75
  • 1 for being hypertensive

This means he should be treated with warfarin (assuming he has no contraindications)

A link to the original publication citation in circulation is available here. (link will open in a new window)