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ObjectiveTo summarize data on atrial fibrillation (AF) detection rates and predictors across different rhythm monitoring strategies in patients with cryptogenic stroke (CS) or embolic stroke of undetermined source (ESUS).MethodsMEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science were searched to identify all published studies providing relevant data through July 6, 2020. Random-effects meta-analysis method was used to pool estimates.ResultsWe included 47 studies reporting on a pooled population of 8,215 patients with CS or ESUS. Using implantable cardiac monitor (ICM), the pooled rate of AF was 12.2% (95% CI 9.4-15.0) at 3 months, 16.0% (95% CI 13.2-18.8) at 6 months, 18.7% (95% CI 15.7-21.7) at 12 months, 22.8% (95% CI 19.1-26.5) at 24 months, and 28.5% (95% CI 17.6-39.3) at 36 months. AF rates were significantly higher in patients with ESUS vs CS (22.0% vs 14.2%; p 2DS2-VASc score, left atrial enlargement, P wave maximal duration and prolonged PR interval.ConclusionThe yield of ICM increases with the duration of monitoring. More than a quarter of patients with CS or ESUS will be diagnosed with AF during follow-up. About one in seven patients had AF detected within a month of MCOT, suggesting that a non-invasive rhythm monitoring strategy should be considered before invasive monitoring.

Original publication




Journal article


International journal of cardiology. Heart & vasculature

Publication Date





Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.