Every year, 16,000 Danes are diagnosed with a stroke and of these 12,000 have their first stroke. Stroke can have huge human cost (loss of mobility and / or intellect, dependency of others and increased mortality), and have high social cost. As we live longer and longer, the number of patients with stroke will increase by approximately 30% from year 2000 to year 2025.
Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder characterised with irregular pulse and atrial fibrillation is a well-known cause of stroke. Atrial fibrillation without any symptoms is quite common and these cases are therefore not diagnosed and not treated appropriately. Atrial fibrillation may be present all the time, but can also be intermittent. Therefore it can be difficult to detect this cardiac rhythm disturbances with an electrocardiogram (ECG), which only provides a snapshot of the heart rhythm. It may be advantageous to record the heart rhythm over a longer period of time to detect atrial fibrillation.
The LOOP trial aims to clarify whether stroke can be prevented by monitoring the heart rhythm with a small device (called a loop recorder). The recorder is placed under the skin on the front of the chest, which allows monitoring of the heart rhythm 24-hours a day 7 days a week.