Stroke is the leading cause of bedridden and dependent patients worldwide. Since cardioembolic stroke, the most severe subtype of ischemic stroke, often develops in subjects with atrial fibrillation, optimal anticoagulation therapy should be administered to those with atrial fibrillation, particularly in the elderly. Recently, several novel oral anticoagulants(NOAC)have been developed for the prevention of cardioembolic stroke. Accordingly, it is important to have thorough understanding of these NOACs, including both their individual characteristics and their proper administration protocols. In this review, we discuss the present status and cautionary notes for using anticoagulation therapy in the prevention of cardioembolic stroke.
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