Background and Purpose: The relationship between the intensity of anticoagulation at the onset of acute cardioembolic stroke and clinical outcome after stroke is unclear. Here, we elucidated the relationship between prothrombin time-international normalized ratio (PT-INR) values on admission and clinical outcomes in patients with acute cardioembolic stroke. Methods: A total of 602 patients from the Fukuoka Stroke Registry in Japan who had been treated with warfarin but developed cardioembolic stroke were enrolled. The patients were classified into 3 groups according to their PT-INR values on admission: PT-INR <1.50, 411 patients; PT-INR 1.50 to 1.99, 146 patients; and PT-INR ≥2.00, 45 patients. The associations between PT-INR categories and severe neurological deficits (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale ≥10) on admission and poor functional outcome (modified Rankin scale 4-6) at discharge were investigated using a logistic regression analysis. Results: Neurological deficits on admission were less severe, and functional outcome at discharge was more favorable as the PT-INR level on admission increased. The multivariate analysis revealed that severe neurological deficits were inversely associated with PT-INR on admission (PT-INR 1.50-1.99: odds ratio, 0.66;95% confidence interval, 0.43-1.00; PT-INR ≥2.00: odds ratio, 0.41;95% confidence interval, 0.20-0.83; compared with a reference group of PT-INR <1.50). Poor functional outcome was less likely in patients with PT-INR ≥2.00 (odds ratio, 0.20;95% confidence interval, 0.06-0.55) after adjustment for confounders. Conclusions: Prestroke PT-INR ≥2.0 is associated with favorable clinical outcomes after acute cardioembolic stroke.
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