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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(12): 106121, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415617


BACKGROUND: There is little information regarding the safety of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA) in patients with stroke and COVID-19. METHODS: This multicenter study included consecutive stroke patients with and without COVID-19 treated with IV-tPA between February 18, 2019, to December 31, 2020, at 9 centers participating in the CASCADE initiative. Clinical outcomes included modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at hospital discharge, in-hospital mortality, the rate of hemorrhagic transformation. Using Bayesian multiple regression and after adjusting for variables with significant value in univariable analysis, we reported the posterior adjusted odds ratio (OR, with 95% Credible Intervals [CrI]) of the main outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 545 stroke patients, including 101 patients with COVID-19 were evaluated. Patients with COVID-19 had a more severe stroke at admission. In the study cohort, 85 (15.9%) patients had a hemorrhagic transformation, and 72 (13.1%) died in the hospital. After adjustment for confounding variables, discharge mRS score ≥2 (OR: 0.73, 95% CrI: 0.16, 3.05), in-hospital mortality (OR: 2.06, 95% CrI: 0.76, 5.53), and hemorrhagic transformation (OR: 1.514, 95% CrI: 0.66, 3.31) were similar in COVID-19 and non COVID-19 patients. High-sensitivity C reactive protein level was a predictor of hemorrhagic transformation in all cases (OR:1.01, 95%CI: 1.0026, 1.018), including those with COVID-19 (OR:1.024, 95%CI:1.002, 1.054). CONCLUSION: IV-tPA treatment in patients with acute ischemic stroke and COVID-19 was not associated with an increased risk of disability, mortality, and hemorrhagic transformation compared to those without COVID-19. IV-tPA should continue to be considered as the standard of care in patients with hyper acute stroke and COVID-19.

COVID-19/complications , Fibrinolytic Agents/administration & dosage , Ischemic Stroke/drug therapy , Thrombolytic Therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Disability Evaluation , Europe , Female , Fibrinolytic Agents/adverse effects , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Infusions, Intravenous , Intracranial Hemorrhages/chemically induced , Iran , Ischemic Stroke/complications , Ischemic Stroke/diagnosis , Ischemic Stroke/mortality , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Thrombolytic Therapy/adverse effects , Thrombolytic Therapy/mortality , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
J Neurol ; 268(7): 2307-2313, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-777815


From March to May 2020, the Italian health care system, as many others, was almost entirely devoted to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, a number of questions arose, from the increased stroke risk due to COVID-19 infection to the quality of stroke patient care. The overwhelming need of COVID-19 patient management made mandatory a complete re-organization of the stroke pathways: many health professionals were reallocated and a number of stroke units was turned into COVID-19 wards. As a result, acute stroke care suffered from a shortage of services and delays in time-dependent treatments and diagnostic work-up. In-patient and out-patient care and rehabilitation facilities for stroke survivors were also reduced or slowed down, to direct resources to COVID-19 patients care and to reduce contagion risks. Overall, this is likely to result in a significant future increased burden of complications and disabilities that will impact the health care systems in the coming months. Thus, while still fighting against COVID-19 disease, authorities need to promptly implement robust action plans, including an increase of workforce, without forgetting the assurance of a high level of stroke care. The medical community and the health care administrators should always keep in mind that stroke was before, and will be after the pandemic, a, sometimes, life-threatening condition, and almost always a disease with a severe impact on the quality of life.

COVID-19 , Stroke , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(9): 104938, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-210006


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2), now named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), may change the risk of stroke through an enhanced systemic inflammatory response, hypercoagulable state, and endothelial damage in the cerebrovascular system. Moreover, due to the current pandemic, some countries have prioritized health resources towards COVID-19 management, making it more challenging to appropriately care for other potentially disabling and fatal diseases such as stroke. The aim of this study is to identify and describe changes in stroke epidemiological trends before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This is an international, multicenter, hospital-based study on stroke incidence and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will describe patterns in stroke management, stroke hospitalization rate, and stroke severity, subtype (ischemic/hemorrhagic), and outcomes (including in-hospital mortality) in 2020 during COVID-19 pandemic, comparing them with the corresponding data from 2018 and 2019, and subsequently 2021. We will also use an interrupted time series (ITS) analysis to assess the change in stroke hospitalization rates before, during, and after COVID-19, in each participating center. CONCLUSION: The proposed study will potentially enable us to better understand the changes in stroke care protocols, differential hospitalization rate, and severity of stroke, as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, this will help guide clinical-based policies surrounding COVID-19 and other similar global pandemics to ensure that management of cerebrovascular comorbidity is appropriately prioritized during the global crisis. It will also guide public health guidelines for at-risk populations to reduce risks of complications from such comorbidities.

Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospitalization/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Hospital Mortality/trends , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Incidence , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/mortality , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome