SoSTART tests whether anticoagulant drugs should be used to treat atrial fibrillation in people who have had a brain haemorrhage.


  • Stroke due to brain haemorrhage

Project type

  • Clinical drug trial

About the project

Bleeding within the skull, also known as brain haemorrhage, affects 3 million people in the world each year.

One in five people who survive brain haemorrhage have an irregular heart rhythm called ‘atrial fibrillation’, which puts them at risk of stroke and other blood clots.

Blood-thinning medicines, known as ‘anticoagulant’ drugs, are used in everyday clinical practice to protect people with atrial fibrillation from developing blood clots. However, as these drugs also increase the risk of bleeding, it is not known whether they should be prescribed to people who have had a brain haemorrhage.

SoSTART is a randomised clinical trial to produce reliable information about whether people with atrial fibrillation who have had a brain haemorrhage benefit from starting anticoagulant drugs

More information

SoSTART webpages on the University of Edinburgh website identifier: NCT03153150


British Heart Foundation





Allan Macraild / Edinburgh stroke research nurse team
0131 465 9536

Eligibility criteria

People with atrial fibrillation who have had a brain haemorrhage.