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1.
Eur J Neurol ; 29(3): 724-731, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566282

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In Switzerland, the COVID-19 incidence during the first pandemic wave was high. Our aim was to assess the association of the outbreak with acute stroke care in Switzerland in spring 2020. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis based on the Swiss Stroke Registry, which includes consecutive patients with acute cerebrovascular events admitted to Swiss Stroke Units and Stroke Centers. A linear model was fitted to the weekly admission from 2018 and 2019 and was used to quantify deviations from the expected weekly admissions from 13 March to 26 April 2020 (the "lockdown period"). Characteristics and 3-month outcome of patients admitted during the lockdown period were compared with patients admitted during the same calendar period of 2018 and 2019. RESULTS: In all, 28,310 patients admitted between 1 January 2018 and 26 April 2020 were included. Of these, 4491 (15.9%) were admitted in the periods March 13-April 26 of the years 2018-2020. During the lockdown in 2020, the weekly admissions dropped by up to 22% compared to rates expected from 2018 and 2019. During three consecutive weeks, weekly admissions fell below the 5% quantile (likelihood 0.38%). The proportion of intracerebral hemorrhage amongst all registered admissions increased from 7.1% to 9.3% (p = 0.006), and numerically less severe strokes were observed (median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale from 3 to 2, p = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: Admissions and clinical severity of acute cerebrovascular events decreased substantially during the lockdown in Switzerland. Delivery and quality of acute stroke care were maintained.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stroke , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Switzerland/epidemiology
2.
Eur J Neurol ; 29(3): 732-743, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541730

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most case series of patients with ischemic stroke (IS) and COVID-19 are limited to selected centers or lack 3-month outcomes. The aim of this study was to describe the frequency, clinical and radiological features, and 3-month outcomes of patients with IS and COVID-19 in a nationwide stroke registry. METHODS: From the Swiss Stroke Registry (SSR), we included all consecutive IS patients ≥18 years admitted to Swiss Stroke Centers or Stroke Units during the first wave of COVID-19 (25 February to 8 June 2020). We compared baseline features, etiology, and 3-month outcome of SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction-positive (PCR+) IS patients to SARS-CoV-2 PCR- and/or asymptomatic non-tested IS patients. RESULTS: Of the 2341 IS patients registered in the SSR during the study period, 36 (1.5%) had confirmed COVID-19 infection, of which 33 were within 1 month before or after stroke onset. In multivariate analysis, COVID+ patients had more lesions in multiple vascular territories (OR 2.35, 95% CI 1.08-5.14, p = 0.032) and fewer cryptogenic strokes (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.14-0.99, p = 0.049). COVID-19 was judged the likely principal cause of stroke in 8 patients (24%), a contributing/triggering factor in 12 (36%), and likely not contributing to stroke in 13 patients (40%). There was a strong trend towards worse functional outcome in COVID+ patients after propensity score (PS) adjustment for age, stroke severity, and revascularization treatments (PS-adjusted common OR for shift towards higher modified Rankin Scale (mRS) = 1.85, 95% CI 0.96-3.58, p = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: In this nationwide analysis of consecutive ischemic strokes, concomitant COVID-19 was relatively rare. COVID+ patients more often had multi-territory stroke and less often cryptogenic stroke, and their 3-month functional outcome tended to be worse.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke , Stroke , Humans , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Switzerland/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome
3.
JAMA ; 326(4): 332-338, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355843

ABSTRACT

Importance: Cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in combination with thrombocytopenia have recently been reported within 4 to 28 days of vaccination with the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (AstraZeneca/Oxford) and Ad.26.COV2.S (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines. An immune-mediated response associated with platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies has been proposed as the underlying pathomechanism. Objective: To determine the frequencies of admission thrombocytopenia, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, and presence of platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies in patients diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a descriptive analysis of a retrospective sample of consecutive patients diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis between January 1987 and March 2018 from 7 hospitals participating in the International Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis Consortium from Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, Iran, and Costa Rica. Of 952 patients, 865 with available baseline platelet count were included. In a subset of 93 patients, frozen plasma samples collected during a previous study between September 2009 and February 2016 were analyzed for the presence of platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies. Exposures: Diagnosis of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Frequencies of admission thrombocytopenia (platelet count <150 ×103/µL), heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (as diagnosed by the treating physician), and platelet factor 4/heparin IgG antibodies (optical density >0.4, in a subset of patients with previously collected plasma samples). Results: Of 865 patients (median age, 40 years [interquartile range, 29-53 years], 70% women), 73 (8.4%; 95% CI, 6.8%-10.5%) had thrombocytopenia, which was mild (100-149 ×103/µL) in 52 (6.0%), moderate (50-99 ×103/µL) in 17 (2.0%), and severe (<50 ×103/µL) in 4 (0.5%). Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies was diagnosed in a single patient (0.1%; 95% CI, <0.1%-0.7%). Of the convenience sample of 93 patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis included in the laboratory analysis, 8 (9%) had thrombocytopenia, and none (95% CI, 0%-4%) had platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies. Conclusions and Relevance: In patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, baseline thrombocytopenia was uncommon, and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies were rare. These findings may inform investigations of the possible association between the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and Ad26.COV2.S COVID-19 vaccines and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis with thrombocytopenia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Heparin/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/complications , Thrombocytopenia/etiology , Adult , Antibodies/blood , Female , Heparin/adverse effects , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/immunology , Thrombocytopenia/epidemiology
4.
JAMA ; 326(4): 332-338, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293117

ABSTRACT

Importance: Cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in combination with thrombocytopenia have recently been reported within 4 to 28 days of vaccination with the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (AstraZeneca/Oxford) and Ad.26.COV2.S (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines. An immune-mediated response associated with platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies has been proposed as the underlying pathomechanism. Objective: To determine the frequencies of admission thrombocytopenia, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, and presence of platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies in patients diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a descriptive analysis of a retrospective sample of consecutive patients diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis between January 1987 and March 2018 from 7 hospitals participating in the International Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis Consortium from Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, Iran, and Costa Rica. Of 952 patients, 865 with available baseline platelet count were included. In a subset of 93 patients, frozen plasma samples collected during a previous study between September 2009 and February 2016 were analyzed for the presence of platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies. Exposures: Diagnosis of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Frequencies of admission thrombocytopenia (platelet count <150 ×103/µL), heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (as diagnosed by the treating physician), and platelet factor 4/heparin IgG antibodies (optical density >0.4, in a subset of patients with previously collected plasma samples). Results: Of 865 patients (median age, 40 years [interquartile range, 29-53 years], 70% women), 73 (8.4%; 95% CI, 6.8%-10.5%) had thrombocytopenia, which was mild (100-149 ×103/µL) in 52 (6.0%), moderate (50-99 ×103/µL) in 17 (2.0%), and severe (<50 ×103/µL) in 4 (0.5%). Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies was diagnosed in a single patient (0.1%; 95% CI, <0.1%-0.7%). Of the convenience sample of 93 patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis included in the laboratory analysis, 8 (9%) had thrombocytopenia, and none (95% CI, 0%-4%) had platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies. Conclusions and Relevance: In patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, baseline thrombocytopenia was uncommon, and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and platelet factor 4/heparin antibodies were rare. These findings may inform investigations of the possible association between the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and Ad26.COV2.S COVID-19 vaccines and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis with thrombocytopenia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Heparin/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/complications , Thrombocytopenia/etiology , Adult , Antibodies/blood , Female , Heparin/adverse effects , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/immunology , Thrombocytopenia/epidemiology
6.
Int J Stroke ; 16(5): 573-584, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156042

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to profound changes in the organization of health care systems worldwide. AIMS: We sought to measure the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the volumes for mechanical thrombectomy, stroke, and intracranial hemorrhage hospitalizations over a three-month period at the height of the pandemic (1 March-31 May 2020) compared with two control three-month periods (immediately preceding and one year prior). METHODS: Retrospective, observational, international study, across 6 continents, 40 countries, and 187 comprehensive stroke centers. The diagnoses were identified by their ICD-10 codes and/or classifications in stroke databases at participating centers. RESULTS: The hospitalization volumes for any stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and mechanical thrombectomy were 26,699, 4002, and 5191 in the three months immediately before versus 21,576, 3540, and 4533 during the first three pandemic months, representing declines of 19.2% (95%CI, -19.7 to -18.7), 11.5% (95%CI, -12.6 to -10.6), and 12.7% (95%CI, -13.6 to -11.8), respectively. The decreases were noted across centers with high, mid, and low COVID-19 hospitalization burden, and also across high, mid, and low volume stroke/mechanical thrombectomy centers. High-volume COVID-19 centers (-20.5%) had greater declines in mechanical thrombectomy volumes than mid- (-10.1%) and low-volume (-8.7%) centers (p < 0.0001). There was a 1.5% stroke rate across 54,366 COVID-19 hospitalizations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was noted in 3.9% (784/20,250) of all stroke admissions. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a global decline in the volume of overall stroke hospitalizations, mechanical thrombectomy procedures, and intracranial hemorrhage admission volumes. Despite geographic variations, these volume reductions were observed regardless of COVID-19 hospitalization burden and pre-pandemic stroke/mechanical thrombectomy volumes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Global Health , Hospitalization/trends , Intracranial Hemorrhages/therapy , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/trends , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitals, High-Volume/trends , Hospitals, Low-Volume/trends , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/diagnosis , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Time Factors
7.
Curr Opin Neurol ; 34(1): 18-21, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940813

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this article is to review the current literature on endovascular treatment of acute ischemic stroke in the aftermath of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown. RECENT FINDINGS: The outbreak of the COVID-19 has had effect of unprecedented magnitude on the social, economic and personal aspects around the globe. Healthcare providers were forced to expand capacity to provide care to the surging number of symptomatic COVID-19 patients, while maintaining a fully operating service for all non-COVID patients. The recent literature suggesting an overall decrease in acute ischemic stroke admissions as well as total number of endovascular treatments will be reviewed. Although the underlying reasons therefore remain the matter of debate, it seems that the imposed restrictions, requiring social distancing, and stopping all nonessential services, have led to a higher threshold for patients to seek medical attention, in particular in those with less severe symptoms. Thus, raising public awareness on the importance of strokes and transient ischemic attacks is even more important in the light of the current situation to avoid serious healthcare, economic consequences, and limit long term morbidity. SUMMARY: The priority remains maintaining a fast and efficient pre and in-hospital work-flow while mitigating nosocomial transmission and protecting the patient and the healthcare workers with appropriate personal protective equipment.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia/surgery , COVID-19 , Endovascular Procedures/methods , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control , Endovascular Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics
8.
Ther Adv Neurol Disord ; 13: 1756286420932036, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-610846

ABSTRACT

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan, China and rapidly spread worldwide, with a vast majority of confirmed cases presenting with respiratory symptoms. Potential neurological manifestations and their pathophysiological mechanisms have not been thoroughly established. In this narrative review, we sought to present the neurological manifestations associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Case reports, case series, editorials, reviews, case-control and cohort studies were evaluated, and relevant information was abstracted. Various reports of neurological manifestations of previous coronavirus epidemics provide a roadmap regarding potential neurological complications of COVID-19, due to many shared characteristics between these viruses and SARS-CoV-2. Studies from the current pandemic are accumulating and report COVID-19 patients presenting with dizziness, headache, myalgias, hypogeusia and hyposmia, but also with more serious manifestations including polyneuropathy, myositis, cerebrovascular diseases, encephalitis and encephalopathy. However, discrimination between causal relationship and incidental comorbidity is often difficult. Severe COVID-19 shares common risk factors with cerebrovascular diseases, and it is currently unclear whether the infection per se represents an independent stroke risk factor. Regardless of any direct or indirect neurological manifestations, the COVID-19 pandemic has a huge impact on the management of neurological patients, whether infected or not. In particular, the majority of stroke services worldwide have been negatively influenced in terms of care delivery and fear to access healthcare services. The effect on healthcare quality in the field of other neurological diseases is additionally evaluated.

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