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2.
Eur J Neurol ; 29(2): 555-563, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476180

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Population-based studies suggest that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines may trigger immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) raising concerns for other autoimmune responses. The aim was to characterize neurological autoimmunity after SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. METHODS: In this single-centre prospective case study patients with neurological autoimmunity in temporal association (≤6 weeks) with SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations and without other triggers are reported. Clinical, laboratory and imaging data were collected with a median follow-up of 49 days. RESULTS: In the study period 232,603 inhabitants from the main catchment area of our hospital (Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, county) received SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. Twenty-one cases (new onset n = 17, flares n = 4) diagnosed a median of 11 days (range 3-23) following SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations (BNT162b2 n = 12, ChAdOx1 n = 8, mRNA-1273 n = 1) were identified. Cases included VITT with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (n = 3), central nervous system demyelinating diseases (n = 8), inflammatory peripheral neuropathies (n = 4), myositis (n = 3), myasthenia (n = 1), limbic encephalitis (n = 1) and giant cell arteritis (n = 1). Patients were predominantly female (ratio 3.2:1) and the median age at diagnosis was 50 years (range 22-86). Therapy included administration of steroids (n = 15), intravenous immunoglobulins in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome or VITT (n = 4), plasma exchange in cases unresponsive to steroids (n = 3) and anticoagulation in VITT. Outcomes were favourable with partial and complete remissions achieved in 71% and 24%, respectively. Two patients received their second vaccination without further aggravation of autoimmune symptoms under low-dose immunosuppressants. CONCLUSIONS: In this study various neurological autoimmune disorders encountered following SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations are characterized. Given the assumed low incidence and mostly favourable outcome of autoimmune responses, the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the comparatively small risks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Guillain-Barre Syndrome , Peripheral Nervous System Diseases , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/adverse effects , Young Adult
3.
JAMA Neurol ; 78(11): 1314-1323, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439655

ABSTRACT

Importance: Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) has been reported after vaccination with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) and Ad26.COV2.S (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson). Objective: To describe the clinical characteristics and outcome of patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination with and without TTS. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used data from an international registry of consecutive patients with CVST within 28 days of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination included between March 29 and June 18, 2021, from 81 hospitals in 19 countries. For reference, data from patients with CVST between 2015 and 2018 were derived from an existing international registry. Clinical characteristics and mortality rate were described for adults with (1) CVST in the setting of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, (2) CVST after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination not fulling criteria for TTS, and (3) CVST unrelated to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Exposures: Patients were classified as having TTS if they had new-onset thrombocytopenia without recent exposure to heparin, in accordance with the Brighton Collaboration interim criteria. Main Outcomes and Measures: Clinical characteristics and mortality rate. Results: Of 116 patients with postvaccination CVST, 78 (67.2%) had TTS, of whom 76 had been vaccinated with ChAdOx1 nCov-19; 38 (32.8%) had no indication of TTS. The control group included 207 patients with CVST before the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 63 of 78 (81%), 30 of 38 (79%), and 145 of 207 (70.0%) patients, respectively, were female, and the mean (SD) age was 45 (14), 55 (20), and 42 (16) years, respectively. Concomitant thromboembolism occurred in 25 of 70 patients (36%) in the TTS group, 2 of 35 (6%) in the no TTS group, and 10 of 206 (4.9%) in the control group, and in-hospital mortality rates were 47% (36 of 76; 95% CI, 37-58), 5% (2 of 37; 95% CI, 1-18), and 3.9% (8 of 207; 95% CI, 2.0-7.4), respectively. The mortality rate was 61% (14 of 23) among patients in the TTS group diagnosed before the condition garnered attention in the scientific community and 42% (22 of 53) among patients diagnosed later. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of patients with CVST, a distinct clinical profile and high mortality rate was observed in patients meeting criteria for TTS after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/mortality , Registries , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/mortality , Thrombocytopenia/mortality , Venous Thromboembolism/mortality , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Sex Factors , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/blood , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/chemically induced , Syndrome , Thrombocytopenia/blood , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Venous Thromboembolism/blood , Venous Thromboembolism/chemically induced , Young Adult
4.
Haematologica ; 106(8): 2170-2179, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236658

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. To prevent severe infection, mass COVID-19 vaccination campaigns with several vaccine types are currently underway. We report pathological and immunological findings in 8 patients who developed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) after administration of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. We analyzed patient material using enzyme immune assays, flow cytometry and heparin-induced platelet aggregation assay and performed autopsies on two fatal cases. Eight patients (5 female, 3 male) with a median age of 41.5 years (range, 24 to 53) were referred to us with suspected thrombotic complications 6 to 20 days after ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination. All patients had thrombocytopenia at admission. Patients had a median platelet count of 46.5 x109/L (range, 8 to 92). Three had a fatal outcome and 5 were successfully treated. Autopsies showed arterial and venous thromboses in various organs and the occlusion of glomerular capillaries by hyaline thrombi. Sera from VITT patients contain high titer antibodies against platelet factor 4 (PF4) (OD 2.59±0.64). PF4 antibodies in VITT patients induced significant increase in procoagulant markers (P-selectin and phosphatidylserine externalization) compared to healthy volunteers and healthy vaccinated volunteers. The generation of procoagulant platelets was PF4 and heparin dependent. We demonstrate the contribution of antibody-mediated platelet activation in the pathogenesis of VITT.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombocytopenia , Adult , Autoantibodies , Blood Platelets , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Vaccination/adverse effects , Young Adult
5.
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
6.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3332-3338, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-998904

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We analyzed the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on neurologic emergencies, depending on the patients' triage score in a setting with relatively few COVID-19 cases and without lack of resources. METHODS: Consecutive patients of a tertiary care center with a dedicated neurologic emergency room (nER) were analyzed. The time period of the first lockdown in Germany (calendar weeks 12-17, 2020) was retrospectively compared to the corresponding period in 2019 regarding the number of patients presenting to the nER, the number of patients with specific triage scores (Heidelberg Neurological Triage Score), the number of patients with stroke, and the quality of stroke care. RESULTS: A total of 4330 patients were included. Fewer patients presented themselves in 2020 compared to 2019 (median [interquartile range] per week: 134 [118-143] vs. 187 [182-192]; p = 0.015). The median numbers of patients per week with triage 1 (emergent) and 4 (non-urgent) were comparable (51 [43-58] vs. 59 [54-62]; p = 0.132, and 10 [4-16] vs. 16 [7-18]; p = 0.310, respectively).The median number of patients per week declined in categories 2 and 3 in 2020 (41 [37-45] vs. 57 [52-61]; p = 0.004, and 28 [23-35] vs. 61 [52-63]; p = 0.002, respectively. No change was observed in the absolute number of strokes (138 in 2019 and 141 in 2020). Quality metrics of stroke revascularization therapies (symptom-to-door time, door-to-needle time or relative number of therapies) and stroke severity remained constant. CONCLUSION: During the lockdown period in 2020, the number of patients with emergent symptoms remained constant, while fewer patients with urgent symptoms presented to the nER. This may imply behavioral changes in care-seeking behavior.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Triage
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