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Acta Neuropathol Commun ; 10(1): 14, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690864


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with an increased risk of thrombotic events. Ischemic stroke in COVID-19 patients entails high severity and mortality rates. Here we aimed to analyze cerebral thrombi of COVID-19 patients with large vessel occlusion (LVO) acute ischemic stroke to expose molecular evidence for SARS-CoV-2 in the thrombus and to unravel any peculiar immune-thrombotic features. We conducted a systematic pathological analysis of cerebral thrombi retrieved by endovascular thrombectomy in patients with LVO stroke infected with COVID-19 (n = 7 patients) and non-covid LVO controls (n = 23). In thrombi of COVID-19 patients, the SARS-CoV-2 docking receptor ACE2 was mainly expressed in monocytes/macrophages and showed higher expression levels compared to controls. Using polymerase chain reaction and sequencing, we detected SARS-CoV-2 Clade20A, in the thrombus of one COVID-19 patient. Comparing thrombus composition of COVID-19 and control patients, we noted no overt differences in terms of red blood cells, fibrin, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), von Willebrand Factor (vWF), platelets and complement complex C5b-9. However, thrombi of COVID-19 patients showed increased neutrophil density (MPO+ cells) and a three-fold higher Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio (tNLR). In the ROC analysis both neutrophils and tNLR had a good discriminative ability to differentiate thrombi of COVID-19 patients from controls. In summary, cerebral thrombi of COVID-19 patients can harbor SARS-CoV2 and are characterized by an increased neutrophil number and tNLR and higher ACE2 expression. These findings suggest neutrophils as the possible culprit in COVID-19-related thrombosis.

Brain Ischemia/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/physiology , Intracranial Thrombosis/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Stroke/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/blood , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Brain Ischemia/blood , Brain Ischemia/genetics , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Humans , Intracranial Thrombosis/blood , Intracranial Thrombosis/genetics , Male , Mechanical Thrombolysis/methods , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/metabolism , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Stroke/blood , Stroke/genetics
Stroke ; 51(8): 2593-2596, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680787


During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the World Health Organization recommended measures to mitigate the outbreak such as social distancing and confinement. Since these measures have been put in place, anecdotal reports describe a decrease in the number of endovascular therapy (EVT) treatments for acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion. The purpose of our study was to determine the effect on EVT for patients with acute ischemic stroke during the COVID-19 confinement. In this retrospective, observational study, data were collected from November 1, 2019, to April 15, 2020, at 17 stroke centers in countries where confinement measures have been in place since March 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic (Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Canada, and United States). This study included 1600 patients treated by EVT for acute ischemic stroke. Date of EVT and symptom onset-to-groin puncture time were collected. Mean number of EVTs performed per hospital per 2-week interval and mean stroke onset-to-groin puncture time were calculated before confinement measures and after confinement measures. Distributions (non-normal) between the 2 groups (before COVID-19 confinement versus after COVID-19 confinement) were compared using 2-sample Wilcoxon rank-sum test. The results show a significant decrease in mean number of EVTs performed per hospital per 2-week interval between before COVID-19 confinement (9.0 [95% CI, 7.8-10.1]) and after COVID-19 confinement (6.1 [95% CI, 4.5-7.7]), (P<0.001). In addition, there is a significant increase in mean stroke onset-to-groin puncture time (P<0.001), between before COVID-19 confinement (300.3 minutes [95% CI, 285.3-315.4]) and after COVID-19 confinement (354.5 minutes [95% CI, 316.2-392.7]). Our preliminary analysis indicates a 32% reduction in EVT procedures and an estimated 54-minute increase in symptom onset-to-groin puncture time after confinement measures for COVID-19 pandemic were put into place.

Coronavirus Infections , Disease Management , Endovascular Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Quarantine , Stroke/therapy , Brain Ischemia/therapy , COVID-19 , Eligibility Determination , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Spain , Time-to-Treatment , Treatment Outcome