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Radiology ; 305(3): 590-596, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891931


Vaccination strategies have been at the forefront of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. An association between vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) and one of these vaccines, the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccine, is now recognized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency and location of thrombosis in each vascular system using CT, MRI, and US to identify additional sites of thrombus in a United Kingdom-wide sample of patients with confirmed VITT. Thirty-two radiology centers identified through the national collaborative Radiology Academic Network for Trainees were invited from the United Kingdom; seven of these contributed to this study. All patients with confirmed VITT ¬between February 3 and May 12, 2021, who met the inclusion criteria were included. The location and extent of thrombi were evaluated using CT, MRI, and US. A total of 40 patients (median age, 41 years [IQR, 32-52]; 22 [55%] men) with confirmed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia after administration of their first ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccine were included. Thirty-two patients (80%) developed symptoms within the first 14 days, and eight (20%) developed symptoms within 14-28 days. Twenty-nine patients (72%) experienced neurologic symptoms and were confirmed to have cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, 12 (30%) had clinical deterioration and repeat imaging demonstrated extension of their primary thrombus, and eight (20%) died. Twenty-five of 30 patients (83%) who underwent additional imaging had occult thrombosis. In conclusion, patients with VITT are likely to have multiple sites of thrombosis, with the most frequent being cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in combination with pulmonary embolism and portomesenteric venous thrombosis. Whole-body imaging with contrast-enhanced CT can be used to identify occult thrombosis.

COVID-19 , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial , Thrombocytopenia , Thrombosis , Vaccines , Male , Humans , Adult , Female , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Pandemics , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Thrombocytopenia/diagnostic imaging , Vaccination/adverse effects
J Neurovirol ; 27(4): 656-661, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260618


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) commonly results in a respiratory illness in symptomatic patients; however, those critically ill can develop a leukoencephalopathy. We describe two patients who had novel subacute MRI findings in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) leukoencephalopathy, which we hypothesize could implicate a potent small-vessel vasculitis, ischemic demyelination and the presence of prolonged ischemia. Recent evidence of the direct neuroinvasiness of SARS-CoV-2 leading to ischemia and vascular damage supports this hypothesis.

COVID-19/complications , Demyelinating Diseases/pathology , Leukoencephalopathies/pathology , Leukoencephalopathies/virology , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/pathology , Demyelinating Diseases/virology , Female , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/virology
Brain Behav Immun ; 95: 514-517, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1184841


Recent reports have highlighted rare, and sometimes fatal, cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and thrombocytopenia following the Vaxzevria vaccine. An underlying immunological mechanism similar to that of spontaneous heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is suspected, with the identification of antibodies to platelet factor-4 (PF4), but without previous heparin exposure. This unusual mechanism has significant implications for the management approach used, which differs from usual treatment of CVST. We describe the cases of two young males, who developed severe thrombocytopenia and fatal CVST following the first dose of Vaxzevria. Both presented with a headache, with subsequent rapid neurological deterioration. One patient underwent PF4 antibody testing, which was positive. A rapid vaccination programme is essential in helping to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, it is vital that such COVID-19 vaccine-associated events, which at this stage appear to be very rare, are viewed through this lens. However, some cases have proved fatal. It is critical that clinicians are alerted to the emergence of such events to facilitate appropriate management. Patients presenting with CVST features and thrombocytopenia post-vaccination should undergo PF4 antibody testing and be managed in a similar fashion to HIT, in particular avoiding heparin and platelet transfusions.

COVID-19 , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial , Thrombocytopenia , Anticoagulants , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , United Kingdom , Vaccination/adverse effects