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J Neurol Sci ; 416: 117019, 2020 Sep 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-643653


OBJECTIVE: To report four patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who developed posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). METHODS: Patient data was abstracted from medical records at Weill Cornell Medical Center. RESULTS: Four patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and PRES were identified. The patients' ages ranged from 64 to 74 years, and two were women. All four patients were admitted to the hospital with acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring intensive care unit admission and mechanical ventilation. PRES was diagnosed after persistent confusion, lethargy, new focal neurological deficits, or seizures were noted, with evidence of seizures on electroencephalogram for two of the patients. Imaging confirmed the presence of cerebral vasogenic edema. All four patients had elevated blood pressure and renal injury in the days preceding PRES diagnosis, as well as evidence of systemic inflammation and systemic hypercoagulability. Symptoms of PRES improved with blood pressure control. CONCLUSIONS: Our four cases demonstrate the occurrence of PRES in critically-ill patients with COVID-19. PRES should be considered in the differential for acute neurological deficits and seizures in this setting.

COVID-19/complications , Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome/complications , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
JAMA Neurol ; 2020 Jul 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-627768


IMPORTANCE: It is uncertain whether coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with a higher risk of ischemic stroke than would be expected from a viral respiratory infection. OBJECTIVE: To compare the rate of ischemic stroke between patients with COVID-19 and patients with influenza, a respiratory viral illness previously associated with stroke. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at 2 academic hospitals in New York City, New York, and included adult patients with emergency department visits or hospitalizations with COVID-19 from March 4, 2020, through May 2, 2020. The comparison cohort included adults with emergency department visits or hospitalizations with influenza A/B from January 1, 2016, through May 31, 2018 (spanning moderate and severe influenza seasons). EXPOSURES: COVID-19 infection confirmed by evidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in the nasopharynx by polymerase chain reaction and laboratory-confirmed influenza A/B. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: A panel of neurologists adjudicated the primary outcome of acute ischemic stroke and its clinical characteristics, mechanisms, and outcomes. We used logistic regression to compare the proportion of patients with COVID-19 with ischemic stroke vs the proportion among patients with influenza. RESULTS: Among 1916 patients with emergency department visits or hospitalizations with COVID-19, 31 (1.6%; 95% CI, 1.1%-2.3%) had an acute ischemic stroke. The median age of patients with stroke was 69 years (interquartile range, 66-78 years); 18 (58%) were men. Stroke was the reason for hospital presentation in 8 cases (26%). In comparison, 3 of 1486 patients with influenza (0.2%; 95% CI, 0.0%-0.6%) had an acute ischemic stroke. After adjustment for age, sex, and race, the likelihood of stroke was higher with COVID-19 infection than with influenza infection (odds ratio, 7.6; 95% CI, 2.3-25.2). The association persisted across sensitivity analyses adjusting for vascular risk factors, viral symptomatology, and intensive care unit admission. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this retrospective cohort study from 2 New York City academic hospitals, approximately 1.6% of adults with COVID-19 who visited the emergency department or were hospitalized experienced ischemic stroke, a higher rate of stroke compared with a cohort of patients with influenza. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings and to investigate possible thrombotic mechanisms associated with COVID-19.