PREvention of STroke in Intracerebral haemorrhaGE Survivors With Atrial Fibrillation (PRESTIGE-AF)

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Imperial College London
Updated on 11 February 2022
intracerebral hemorrhage
brain imaging
vascular disease
apixaban oral tablet


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common form of irregular heart rhythm. In people with AF, blood clots often form in the heart, which can travel to the brain. Blockage of brain arteries by these clots is a major cause of stroke. This type of stroke is called an ischaemic stroke and approximately 15% of all ischaemic strokes are caused by AF.

People with AF are often prescribed a medication called an anticoagulant, which makes it less likely for blood clots to form and thus can prevent ischaemic strokes. However, anticoagulants also increase the risk of bleeding, so they are not suitable for everyone.

Some people who have AF have had a different type of stroke which is caused by bleeding in the brain, an intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH). These people are at increased risk of suffering both an ischaemic stroke (due to AF) and another ICH. It is not known whether it is best for these people to take an anticoagulant medication or not, as previous research studies did not include this group of people.

PREvention of STroke in Intracerebral haemorrhaGE survivors with Atrial Fibrillation (PRESTIGE-AF) is a research study on the best stroke prevention in people with atrial fibrillation (AF) who have recently had a bleeding in their brain, (ICH). This is a trial where half of the participants will take an anticoagulant medication, preventing blood clot formation, and half will not receive an anticoagulant. The direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) that will be used in this trial are all licenced for use in the United Kingdom and within the European Union (EU) to prevent strokes in people with AF. However, the current licence does not extend to use with people who have had an ICH because it has not been tested in this group with a randomised controlled trial. DOACs will be tested in ICH survivors with AF because previous research trials have shown that people are up to 50% less likely to have bleeding complications in the brain with DOACs than with Warfarin (another commonly used anticoagulant).

The aim of PRESTIGE-AF is to answer the question of whether people with ICH and AF should take an anticoagulant medication or if it is better for them to avoid it.


Stroke is one of the largest public health challenges worldwide. Its societal impact is expected to further increase in the coming decades due to the aging of population. Importantly, stroke is a heterogeneous disease comprising various subtypes with distinct mechanisms. The variability of individual risks demands that more specifically targeted and better personalised approaches are developed to tailor stroke prevention for particular stroke types and individual patients.

Intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is a particularly severe type of stroke affecting 10-15% of all stroke patients. Importantly, ICH carries even higher mortality and more severe disability than other stroke types. While mechanisms of ICH and ischaemic stroke are distinct, many risk factors are shared and patients are often at increased risk of both ischaemic stroke and ICH.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is also a growing epidemic in aging populations and a major cause of ischaemic stroke due to thrombus formation in the heart migrating to and occluding intracerebral arteries. At least 20% of ICH survivors also suffer from AF and are, thus, at particularly high risk of ischaemic stroke. While ischaemic stroke in AF patients in general can be much more effectively prevented with oral anticoagulation than with antiplatelet agents (APA) concerns about ICH recurrence in ICH survivors are a major barrier for anticoagulation. The best approach to stroke prevention in ICH patients with AF is presently unknown. Current clinical guidelines, which are largely based on retrospective observational studies investigating anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists (VKA), either recommend considering anticoagulation only in patients with non-lobar location of ICH or, in the absence of evidence from randomised controlled trials, refrain from making any recommendations at all. Anticoagulation with direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) has proven efficacy and safety for stroke prevention in AF. DOACs may be a better alternative to VKA particularly in ICH patients because DOACs were associated with a 50% lower risk of ICH than VKA in previous clinical trials of stroke prevention in AF. However, patients with previous ICH were excluded from these trials.

Although thousands of ICH survivors with AF every year worldwide need effective prevention of another stroke, the best antithrombotic therapy for these patients is currently unknown. PRESTIGE-AF will be the first sufficiently powered randomised controlled trial aiming to resolve the dilemma of stroke prevention in this challenging high-risk patient population. Specifically, it will answer the question whether DOAC with their well-documented lower risk of intracranial haemorrhagic complications, compared to VKA, provide both a more effective and an equally safe option for stroke prevention in patients with ICH and AF compared to no anticoagulant. Findings of the Study are expected to change management guidelines and future prevention research for ICH survivors with AF.

PREvention of STroke in Intracerebral haemorrhaGE survivors (PRESTIGE-AF) will test whether preventive therapy with DOACs (intervention group) reduce the rate of ischaemic stroke (superiority) compared to no anticoagulation (control group) without unacceptably increasing the risk of recurrent ICH (non-inferiority) in patients with AF and a previous ICH within 6 months before enrolment.

The Research Question is:

Does preventive therapy with Direct Oral Anticoagulants (intervention group) reduce the rate of ischaemic stroke (superiority) compared to no anticoagulation (control group) without unacceptably increasing the risk of recurrent Intracerebral haemorrhage (non-inferiority) in patients with atrial fibrillation and a previous intracerebral haemorrhage within 6 months before enrolment.

The Objectives of the study are:

The main objective is to perform a randomised controlled trial to resolve the long-standing management dilemma of antithrombotic stroke prevention in intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) survivors with comorbid atrial fibrillation (AF). Specifically, it will address the question whether direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs, intervention) provide a more effective option for prevention of ischaemic stroke and an equally safe option in terms of recurrence of ICH for antithrombotic stroke prevention in survivors of recent ICH compared to no anticoagulation (i.e. no antithrombotic therapy or antiplatelet therapy at Principal Investigators discretion).

The secondary Study objectives are:

  • To examine the effect of anticoagulation with DOAC versus no anticoagulation on major cardiovascular outcomes and mortality in ICH patient with AF
  • To compare the effect of DOACs versus no anticoagulation on major systemic and intracranial bleeding in this Study population
  • To examine the effect of DOACs versus no anticoagulation on net clinical benefit in ICH patients with AF

The exploratory objectives are:

To explore the impact of DOAC vs. no anticoagulation on quality of life, cognition and psychological morbidity in patients with ICH and AF over time Study Design: PRESTIGE-AF is a phase 3b investigator-led, multicentre, parallel group, prospective randomised, open, blinded end-point assessment (PROBE) clinical trial comparing DOACs (interventional arm) against no anticoagulation (control arm) in patients with a recent ICH and comorbid AF.

Randomisation will occur in a 1:1 ratio. Participants will be stratified according to two factors: lobar and non-lobar location of ICH and sex. Choice and dose of DOAC treatment as well as the use of concomitant medication during the study treatment will be at the Principal Investigators discretion within the spectrum of licensed doses labelled for stroke prevention in AF patients in Europe following the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC). The control group will receive no anticoagulant but the use of an antiplatelet agent is at the Principal Investigators discretion who will use their clinical judgment to initiate (or not) an antiplatelet drug of their choice.

Baseline assessment will include capturing Participant's demographics, clinical characteristics, vital signs, medical history, and concomitant diseases as well as documentation of AF (previous history or newly detected). Results of routine diagnostic tests before Study enrolment will be also collected using an electronic case report form. The routine brain imaging data performed after the ICH and before Study enrolment will also be collected at baseline.

After randomisation, Participants will be followed-up in person at various time points (1, 6, 12, 24, 36 months) for up to 3 years. At each visit, outcome events and adverse events will be captured.

Condition Atrial Fibrillation, Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Treatment Rivaroxaban, Dabigatran, Apixaban Oral Tablet, Edoxaban Tablets
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03996772
SponsorImperial College London
Last Modified on11 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age 18 years
Written informed consent
Recent history of a non-traumatic spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage during the 6 months before enrolment
Documented evidence of Atrial Fibrillation (paroxysmal, persistent or permanent)
CHA2DS2-VASc score2 for male, and CHA2DS2-VASc score 3 for female patients
Availability of brain imaging following the index intracerebral haemorrhage

Exclusion Criteria

Patient lacks capacity to consent
Fully dependent (Modified Rankin Scale Score >4)
Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant during the Study period
Women of childbearing potential who are unable or unwilling to take measures for effective contraception
Intracerebral haemorrhage occurring within the last 14 days before enrolment
Intracerebral haemorrhage occurring longer than 6 months before enrolment
Intracerebral haemorrhage resulting from trauma or vascular malformation
Another indication for long-term anticoagulation
Patient has hypertension, which in the opinion of the investigator, is uncontrollable with medication
Any contraindication (except intracerebral haemorrhage) to treatment with apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, rivaroxaban as per summary of product characteristics (SmPC)
Absolute need for antiplatelet therapy at enrolment
Presence of a left atrial appendage occlusion device (LAAO) or plan to implant an LAAO
Presence of any medical, psychological, or psychiatric condition which in the opinion of the Principal or Co-Investigator would cause participation in the Study to be unwise
Participation in any clinical study with an Investigational Medicinal Product within the past 30 days (observational studies are permitted)
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note