Clinical guidelines, while representing an objective reference to perform appropriate treatment choices, contain grey zones, where recommendations are not supported by solid evidence. In a conference held in Bergamo in October 2018, an attempt was made to highlight some of the main grey zones in Cardiology and, through a comparison between experts, to draw shared conclusions that can illuminate our clinical practice. This manuscript contains the statements of the symposium concerning the controversies regarding new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) and atrial fibrillation (AF). The manuscript represents the organization of the meeting, with an initial review of current guidelines on this topic, followed by an expert presentation of pros (white) and cons (black) related to the identified “gaps of evidence”. For every issue is then reported the response derived from the votes of the experts and the public, the discussion and, finally, the highlights, which are intended as practical “take home messages” to be used in everyday clinical practice. The first topic concerns the indication for anticoagulant therapy in patients with subclinical AF revealed by implanted devices. The second issue examines the opportunity to use NOACs in oncological patients with AF. The third gap evaluates the necessity of anticoagulating patients with AF and CHA2DS2-VASc 1 or CHA2DS2-VASc 2 if women. The last “gap in evidence” concerns the preference of triple or double therapy in patients with AF and acute coronary syndrome/coronary stenting. The work has also been implemented with evidences deriving from important randomized studies published after the date of the Conference.
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