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Stroke Vasc Neurol ; 5(4): 331-336, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318206


BACKGROUND: COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a global pandemic that has been an immense burden on healthcare systems all over the world. These patients may be at higher risk for acute ischaemic stroke (AIS). We present our experience with AIS in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: We reviewed all patients admitted to our hospital during a 6-week period with a positive nasopharyngeal swab test for SARS-CoV-2. Among these patients, we identified AIS. We reviewed the demographics, clinical, laboratory, imaging characteristics, treatments received and outcomes of AIS in patients with COVID-19. RESULTS: We identified 683 patients admitted with COVID-19 during the study period, of which 20 patients had AIS. Large-vessel occlusion (LVO) was noted in 11 patients (55%). Intravenous alteplase was administered in four patients (20%) and mechanical thrombectomy was performed in five patients (25%). Respiratory symptoms preceded the onset of AIS in most of the patients (70%) by 1 to 21 days. Mortality in patients with AIS was 50% compared with 26% of all COVID-19 admissions. Most of these patients died due to non-neurological causes (70%). Three patients with AIS had clinical and imaging findings consistent with COVID-19, but were negative for multiple nasopharyngeal swab tests. INTERPRETATION: LVO was more common in patients with AIS and COVID-19. They had more severe disease and higher mortality rates. Most of the patients had respiratory symptoms preceding AIS by days to weeks. This could explain certain patients with clinical picture of COVID-19 but negative nasopharyngeal swab tests.

Brain Ischemia , COVID-19 , Stroke , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Thrombectomy
Brain Circ ; 7(2): 135-138, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261387


Patients with COVID-19 may suffer from hemorrhagic complications. Our article highlights two cases of COVID-19-infected patients, who suffered severe epistaxis after initiation of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV-rtPA) for acute ischemic stroke, followed by a sudden decline in their clinical status and ultimately leading to death within days. Given the global impact and mortality of COVID-19, it is essential to be aware of its unusual presentation and improve therapeutic strategies. We present two cases of individuals who suffered from a large vessel occlusion of and were candidates for both IV-rtPA and mechanical thrombectomy. They received IV-rtPA but had epistaxis so severe that they were not able to receive MT and died within the next few days. There are many potential mechanisms by which epistaxis can happen in an individual with COVID-19 who received IV-rtPA including invasion of the nasal mucosa and endothelium through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors by the virus. We also hypothesize that the coagulation abnormality seen in COVID-19 patients can be potentiated by the use of treatments such as IV-rtPA. We review these issues with a diagram illustrating the possible mechanisms.

J Neurointerv Surg ; 2021 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072792


BACKGROUND: Unprecedented workflow shifts during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have contributed to delays in acute care delivery, but whether it adversely affected endovascular thrombectomy metrics in acute large vessel occlusion (LVO) is unknown. METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of observational data from 14 comprehensive stroke centers in nine US states with acute LVO. EVT metrics were compared between March to July 2019 against March to July 2020 (primary analysis), and between state-specific pre-peak and peak COVID-19 months (secondary analysis), with multivariable adjustment. RESULTS: Of the 1364 patients included in the primary analysis (51% female, median NIHSS 14 [IQR 7-21], and 74% of whom underwent EVT), there was no difference in the primary outcome of door-to-puncture (DTP) time between the 2019 control period and the COVID-19 period (median 71 vs 67 min, P=0.10). After adjustment for variables associated with faster DTP, and clustering by site, there remained a trend toward shorter DTP during the pandemic (ßadj=-73.2, 95% CI -153.8-7.4, Pp=0.07). There was no difference in DTP times according to local COVID-19 peaks vs pre-peak months in unadjusted or adjusted multivariable regression (ßadj=-3.85, 95% CI -36.9-29.2, P=0.80). In this final multivariable model (secondary analysis), faster DTP times were significantly associated with transfer from an outside institution (ßadj=-46.44, 95% CI -62.8 to - -30.0, P<0.01) and higher NIHSS (ßadj=-2.15, 95% CI -4.2to - -0.1, P=0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In this multi-center study, there was no delay in EVT among patients treated for intracranial occlusion during the COVID-19 era compared with the pre-COVID era.

Int J Stroke ; 16(4): 437-447, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-806135


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been associated with a significant risk of thrombotic events in critically ill patients. AIM: To summarize the findings of a multinational observational cohort of patients with SARS-CoV-2 and cerebrovascular disease. METHODS: Retrospective observational cohort of consecutive adults evaluated in the emergency department and/or admitted with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across 31 hospitals in four countries (1 February 2020-16 June 2020). The primary outcome was the incidence rate of cerebrovascular events, inclusive of acute ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhages (ICH), and cortical vein and/or sinus thrombosis (CVST). RESULTS: Of the 14,483 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2, 172 were diagnosed with an acute cerebrovascular event (1.13% of cohort; 1130/100,000 patients, 95%CI 970-1320/100,000), 68/171 (40.5%) were female and 96/172 (55.8%) were between the ages 60 and 79 years. Of these, 156 had acute ischemic stroke (1.08%; 1080/100,000 95%CI 920-1260/100,000), 28 ICH (0.19%; 190/100,000 95%CI 130-280/100,000), and 3 with CVST (0.02%; 20/100,000, 95%CI 4-60/100,000). The in-hospital mortality rate for SARS-CoV-2-associated stroke was 38.1% and for ICH 58.3%. After adjusting for clustering by site and age, baseline stroke severity, and all predictors of in-hospital mortality found in univariate regression (p < 0.1: male sex, tobacco use, arrival by emergency medical services, lower platelet and lymphocyte counts, and intracranial occlusion), cryptogenic stroke mechanism (aOR 5.01, 95%CI 1.63-15.44, p < 0.01), older age (aOR 1.78, 95%CI 1.07-2.94, p = 0.03), and lower lymphocyte count on admission (aOR 0.58, 95%CI 0.34-0.98, p = 0.04) were the only independent predictors of mortality among patients with stroke and COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 is associated with a small but significant risk of clinically relevant cerebrovascular events, particularly ischemic stroke. The mortality rate is high for COVID-19-associated cerebrovascular complications; therefore, aggressive monitoring and early intervention should be pursued to mitigate poor outcomes.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Cerebrovascular Disorders/epidemiology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Cerebrovascular Disorders/etiology , Cerebrovascular Disorders/therapy , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/etiology , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Thrombosis/etiology , Tobacco Use , Young Adult
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-1380


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global pandemic that has been an i