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Stroke Vasc Neurol ; 5(4): 403-405, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318203


INTRODUCTION: Patients with stroke-like symptoms may be underutilising emergency medical services and avoiding hospitalisation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated a decline in admissions for stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and emergency department (ED) stroke alert activations. METHODS: We retrospectively compiled total weekly hospital admissions for stroke and TIA between 31 December 2018 and 21 April 2019 versus 30 December 2019 and 19 April 2020 at five US tertiary academic comprehensive stroke centres in cities with early COVID-19 outbreaks in Boston, New York City, Providence and Seattle. We collected available data on ED stroke alerts, stroke severity using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and time from symptom onset to hospital arrival. RESULTS: Compared with 31 December 2018 to 21 April 2019, a decline in stroke/TIA admissions and ED stroke alerts occurred during 30 December 2019 to 19 April 2020 (p trend <0.001 for each). The declines coincided with state stay-at-home recommendations in late March. The greatest decline in hospital admissions was observed between 23 March and 19 April 2020, with a 31% decline compared with the corresponding weeks in 2019. Three of the five centres with 2019 and 2020 stroke alert data had a 46% decline in ED stroke alerts in late March and April 2020, compared with 2019. Median baseline NIHSS during these 4 weeks was 10 in 2020 and 7 in 2019. There was no difference in time from symptom onset to hospital arrival. CONCLUSION: At these five large academic US hospitals, admissions for stroke and TIA declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a trend for fewer ED stroke alerts at three of the five centres with available 2019 and 2020 data. Acute stroke therapies are time-sensitive, so decreased healthcare access or utilisation may lead to more disabling or fatal strokes, or more severe non-neurological complications related to stroke. Our findings underscore the indirect effects of this pandemic. Public health officials, hospital systems and healthcare providers must continue to encourage patients with stroke to seek acute care during this crisis.

COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Stroke/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Time-to-Treatment , United States/epidemiology
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 201: 106436, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059739


BACKGROUND: To evaluate overall ischemic stroke volumes and rates, specific subtypes, and clinical presentation during the COVID-19 pandemic in a multicenter observational study from eight states across US. METHODS: We compared all ischemic strokes admitted between January 2019 and May 2020, grouped as; March-May 2020 (COVID-19 period) and March-May 2019 (seasonal pre-COVID-19 period). Primary outcome was stroke severity at admission measured by NIHSS stratified as mild (0-7), moderate [8-14], and severe (>14). Secondary outcomes were volume of large vessel occlusions (LVOs), stroke etiology, IV-tPA rates, and discharge disposition. RESULTS: Of the 7969 patients diagnosed with acute ischemic stroke during the study period, 933 (12 %) presented in the COVID-19 period while 1319 (17 %) presented in the seasonal pre-COVID-19 period. Significant decline was observed in the mean weekly volumes of newly diagnosed ischemic strokes (98 ± 3 vs 50 ± 20,p = 0.003), LVOs (16.5 ± 3.8 vs 8.3 ± 5.9,p = 0.008), and IV-tPA (10.9 ± 3.4 vs 5.3 ± 2.9,p = 0.0047), whereas the mean weekly proportion of LVOs (18 % ±5 vs 16 % ±7,p = 0.24) and IV-tPA (10.4 % ±4.5 vs. 9.9 % ±2.4,p = 0.66) remained the same, when compared to the seasonal pre-COVID-19 period. Additionally, an increased proportion of patients presented with a severe disease (NIHSS > 14) during the COVID-19 period (29.7 % vs 24.5 %,p < 0.025). The odds of being discharged to home were 26 % greater in the COVID-19 period when compared to seasonal pre-COVID-19 period (OR:1.26, 95 % CI:1.07-1.49,p = 0.016). CONCLUSIONS: During COVID-19 period there was a decrease in volume of newly diagnosed ischemic stroke cases and IV-tPA administration. Patients admitted to the hospital had severe neurological clinical presentation and were more likely to discharge home.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurology/trends , Societies, Medical/trends , Stroke/drug therapy , Stroke/epidemiology , Thrombolytic Therapy/trends , Administration, Intravenous , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/diagnosis , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/administration & dosage , United States/epidemiology , Vascular Diseases/drug therapy , Vascular Diseases/epidemiology
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(12): 105412, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907409


INTRODUCTION: Early studies suggest that acute cerebrovascular events may be common in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and may be associated with a high mortality rate. Most cerebrovascular events described have been ischemic strokes, but both intracerebral hemorrhage and rarely cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) have also been reported. The diagnosis of CVST can be elusive, with wide-ranging and nonspecific presenting symptoms that can include headache or altered sensorium alone. OBJECTIVE: To describe the presentation, barriers to diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of CVST in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: We abstracted data on all patients diagnosed with CVST and COVID-19 from March 1 to August 9, 2020 at Boston Medical Center. Subsequently, we reviewed the literature and extracted all published cases of CVST in patients with COVID-19 from January 1, 2020 through August 9, 2020 and included all studies with case descriptions. RESULTS: We describe the clinical features and management of CVST in 3 women with COVID-19 who developed CVST days to months after initial COVID-19 symptoms. Two patients presented with encephalopathy and without focal neurologic deficits, while one presented with visual symptoms. All patients were treated with intravenous hydration and anticoagulation. None suffered hemorrhagic complications, and all were discharged home. We identified 12 other patients with CVST in the setting of COVID-19 via literature search. There was a female predominance (54.5%), most patients presented with altered sensorium (54.5%), and there was a high mortality rate (36.4%). CONCLUSIONS: During this pandemic, clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for CVST in patients with a recent history of COVID-19 presenting with non-specific neurological symptoms such as headache to provide expedient management and prevent complications. The limited data suggests that CVST in COVID-19 is more prevalent in females and may be associated with high mortality.

COVID-19/complications , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/etiology , Venous Thrombosis/etiology , Adult , Aged , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Fluid Therapy , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/diagnostic imaging , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/therapy , Treatment Outcome , Venous Thrombosis/diagnostic imaging , Venous Thrombosis/therapy