PRESTIGE-AF: Should patients with a brain bleed be given anticoagulant medication?

PRESTIGE-AF: Should patients with a brain bleed be given anticoagulant medication?

Stroke is one of the largest public health challenges around the world, and occur when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, such as through a clot or a brain bleed. It is the most common cause of adult-acquired disability, the second leading cause of death globally and the second most frequent cause of dementia. In addition, its impact is expected to further increase in the coming decades due to the ageing population.


Dr Eleni Korompoki, MD, PhD, FESO, PRESTIGE AF researcher

We spoke with Dr Eleni Korompoki, MD, PhD, FESO, about a €6.9m worth EU funded research project, aimed at patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), a common heart condition which causes irregular and abnormally fast heartbeat, who have previously had a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain (termed intracerebral hemorrhage or ICH). The Prevention of Stroke in intracerebral hemorrhage survivor with Atrial Fibrillation (PRESTIGE-AF) brings together scientists and clinicians across Europe with the goal of reducing the risk of further stroke in this group of patients. Dr Korompoki is a Clinical Research Fellow in Stroke Medicine at Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London.

SAFE: If you were to explain the project’s aim to a person without any medical background, what would you say?
EK: We are conducting a research study to show whether or not patients who have had a brain hemorrhage should be given anticoagulant medication to prevent blood clots that can be caused by a heart arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. Currently we do not know the best way to prevent strokes in these patients.

SAFE: What types of partner do you need to carry out a project like this?
EK: This project is covering many specialties, so we need to have partners with experts in stroke, cardiology, genetics, biomarkers, neuroimaging and predictive modelling to name just a few!

SAFE: Can you briefly describe your role in the project?
EK: I am part of the central clinical trial team who assist all of the (70!) hospitals who recruit to our clinical trial. I am available to provide medical support, answer questions about patient eligibility and review the safety reports (called adverse events) as we closely monitor all health complaints that patients have whilst they are in the study. Towards the end of the project I will be involved with data analysis and writing up the results of the trial.

SAFE: What (if any) are the difficulties with carrying out the work?
EK: Stroke is the leading cause of disability in Europe and strokes caused by bleeding tend to be more disabling. Therefore it can be a challenge to identify patients who are willing and able to take part in a study like this.

SAFE: What personally attracted you to be in this project?
EK: I have been involved in stroke research for more than 10 years, focusing on stroke prevention and heart-brain connection. As a physician and researcher, I strongly believe that prevention is the key element for well- being. PRESTIGE-AF is a prevention trial targeting an individualised approach and better quality of life after stroke. The trial will also address important aspects such as gender differences, and patients’ attitudes and preferences.

As part of PRESTIGE-AF consortium I have plenty opportunity to interact with internationally recognised experts of ten leading European academic institutions, to work together with a multidisciplinary team from different European countries gaining a lot of experience and improving my scientific skills.

SAFE: When this project ends, what do you expect to change, i.e. how it will reflect on stroke treatment?
EK: We expect to be able to provide evidence based treatment to patients who have had a brain hemorrhage and have atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia. In addition we hope that we will be able to start using a more person centered approach with these patients using information learnt from looking at brain scans, blood tests, gender differences and psychological aspects.

PRESTIGE-AF has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 754517.


SAVE THE DATE – European Life After Stroke Forum, 19 November 2020, Barcelona, Spain

SAVE THE DATE – European Life After Stroke Forum, 19 November 2020, Barcelona, Spain

Life after stroke is a key priority within SAFE’s strategy. It is our pleasure to share with you the date of the first European Life After Stroke Forum – the 19 November 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

This first European Life After Stroke Forum is driven by the need to implement the Stroke Action Plan for Europe and to create a network of stakeholders involved in professionally researching, advocating and providing evidence for improved life after stroke care.


We hope we could get you to support the European Life After Stroke Forum by sharing this information with people you know.

When? 19 November 2020

Where? Hotel Catalonia Barcelona Plaza, Barcelona, Spain

Who can attend?  Organisations and individuals who operate in the life after stroke area and are research, policy, advocacy or support oriented.

How to register? The registration link will be available soon. Stay tuned!

Please put this date in your calendar and stay tuned for more information that will follow.

We hope to welcome you to Barcelona,

SAFE team

Turning the Tide: Stroke Ready Hospitals

Turning the Tide: Stroke Ready Hospitals

Turning the Tide is a series of 26 mini-films from 24 countries, presenting the bold actions being carried out by communities and organisations to take on the world’s biggest killers – non-communicable diseases, like cancer, diabetes and lung disease – and bring better health for all.

Time is everything when dealing with stroke patients, but many hospitals are not “stroke ready”. Every 30 minutes a stroke patient who could have been saved, dies or is permanently disabled, because they were treated in the wrong hospital.

The Angels Initiative is building a global community of stroke centres and stroke-ready hospitals, working every day to improve the quality of treatment for every stroke patient. The story in this video would have been very different if it wasn’t for a joint effort of the Angels Community.

The man who can be seen in the video is one of the lucky ones. Both he and his wife are medics, so, when he collapsed from a stroke in his home in Sofia, Bulgaria, his wife instantly recognised what happened and knew that she had to act quickly. He was swiftly taken to the nearest stroke-ready hospital and was treated immediately by the responding doctors. Thanks to a swift reaction from their colleagues, medics who work in the stroke-ready hospital and to the timely received treatment, the man was able to recover. “I started to go shopping. I started driving. I started to feel like a normal human being again. These days I realise how blessed I was to have fully recovered to be with my family, my children and my grandchildren” he said.

Please watch the video and see how having stroke-ready hospitals helps #TurningTheTide.

The video was produced by the NCD Alliance and BBC StoryWorks

The Angels Initiative, launched by Boehringer Ingelheim in partnership with the European Stroke Organisation (ESO), and the World Stroke Organisation (WSO), the Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) and others is set to improve acute stroke care, by increasing the number of patients treated in stroke ready hospitals and optimising the quality of treatment in all existing stroke centres. For more information about Angels Initiative, please visit

Image source: The video print screen


ESO-WSO 2020: A United Voice for Stroke

ESO-WSO 2020: A United Voice for Stroke

ESO-WSO 2020 congress is fast approaching. For the first time, two large congresses, the World Stroke Congress and the European Stroke Congress will merge into one, bringing together stroke researchers, medical experts, patient organisations, pharma industry, medical devices manufacturers and many others to Vienna, Austria between 12 – 15 May 2020.

The Stroke Alliance for Europe will have a stand at this big event, seizing opportunity for a direct communication with the congress delegates and promoting our flagship projects.

The ESO-WSO 2020 Key Dates

Late Breaking Abstract Submission: 24 February – 1 April 2020
Early Registration Deadline: 17 March 2020

A United Voice for Stroke

ESO-WSO 2020 will give people the opportunity to meet, discuss and learn from international speakers and peers. The Conference will be the biggest stroke conference to date!

If you wish to register and take advantage of the early bird rates that are available until 17 March 2020, visit for more information.


Round Table: Peer to peer discussion on the role of anticoagulation in the setting of cerebral venous thromboembolism

Round Table: Peer to peer discussion on the role of anticoagulation in the setting of cerebral venous thromboembolism

Please find below a link to access the new Oruen Round Table. Please be advised that this is for medical professionals.

This is a peer to peer discussion on the role of anticoagulation in the setting of cerebral venous thromboembolism.

  • CVT is a rare type of stroke and peripheral venous thromboembolism
  • There is scientific evidence supporting anticoagulation in the acute phase of CVT but scant data to guide longer-term oral anticoagulation
  • Non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are being investigated as an alternative to warfarin in patients with CVT for longer-term management

This discussion’s audience is for the general neurologists and stroke specialists across Europe, once completed, learners will be able to:

  • Discuss risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) after cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT)
  • Explain the design of RE-SPECT CVT trial
  • Analyse outcomes in RE-SPECT CVT trial

(please note this content is not available for physicians in the UK & US)


José Ferro
Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health
Hospital Santa Maria/Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte
Lisbon, Portugal

Hans-Christoph Diener
Faculty of Medicine
University Duisburg-Essen
Essen, Germany

Jonathan Coutinho
Department of Neurology
Academic Medical Center University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This round table discussion was filmed in Amsterdam by Oruen and was supported by Boehringer Ingelheim.  

This discussion has been awarded 1 CME credit by the EACIC; instructions on how to obtain your CME credit will follow at the end of this video.