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1.
Acta Neurochir (Wien) ; 164(1): 141-150, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482221

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lombardy was the most affected Italian region by the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and underwent urgent reorganization for the management of emergencies, including subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm (aSAH). The aim of the study was to define demographics, clinical, and therapeutic features of aSAH during the COVID-19 outbreak and compare these with a historical cohort. METHODS: In this observational multicenter cohort study, patients aged 18 years or older, who were diagnosed with aSAH at the participating centers in Lombardy from March 9 to May 10, 2020, were included (COVID-19 group). In order to minimize bias related to possible SAH seasonality, the control group was composed of patients diagnosed with aSAH from March 9 to May 10 of the three previous years, 2017-2018-2019 (pre-pandemic group). Twenty-three demographic, clinical, and therapeutic features were collected. Statistical analysis was performed. RESULTS: Seventy-two patients during the COVID-19 period and 179 in the control group were enrolled at 14 centers. Only 4 patients were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The "diagnostic delay" was significantly increased (+ 68%) in the COVID-19 group vs. pre-pandemic (1.06 vs. 0.63 days, respectively, p-value = 0.030), while "therapeutic delay" did not differ significantly between the two periods (0.89 vs. 0.74 days, p-value = 0.183). Patients with poor outcome (GOS at discharge from 1 to 3) were higher during the COVID-19 period (54.2%) compared to pre-pandemic (40.2%, p = 0.044). In logistic regression analysis, in which outcome was the dichotomized Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), five variables showed p-values < 0.05: age at admission, WFNS grade, treatment (none), days in ICU, and ischemia. CONCLUSIONS: We documented a significantly increased "diagnostic delay" for subarachnoid hemorrhages during the first COVID-19 outbreak in Lombardy. However, despite the dramatic situation that the healthcare system was experiencing, the Lombardy regional reorganization model, which allowed centralization of neurosurgical emergencies such as SAHs, avoided a "therapeutic delay" and led to results overall comparable to the control period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage , Cohort Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome
3.
Int J Neurosci ; : 1-4, 2021 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061217

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-nCoV-2019 epidemic has spread since December 2019, quickly gaining worldwide attention. Symptoms consist of fever, cough and breathing difficulties. An increasing number of studies are focusing on neurological manifestations. In addition to the typical ageusia and anosmia, up to 30% of cases can present headache, nausea and vomiting. More serious neurological manifestations, such as encephalitis, thrombosis and cerebral haemorrhage have been reported. CASE DESCRIPTION: We described the case of a 47-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 virus in early March 2020. After two negative nasopharyngeal swabs, 41 days after the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection, he developed intense headache with fever, and he was hospitalized. He had subsequent generalized epileptic seizures and intubation was necessary. Contrast Head MRI was negative for brain abscesses or tumours but detected severe vasogenic oedema of the white matter with 10 mm shift of the midline and compression of the right lateral ventricle. Massive cortisone support therapy was ineffective. We diagnosed brain death on day 43 from the infection diagnosis. DISCUSSION: COVID-19 virus can reach the brain, penetrating into the neuronal cells through the interaction between the spike protein S1 and the host ACE-2 receptor, expressed in the capillary endothelium. We believe that in this infection, the pro-inflammatory state induced by the cytokine storm can cause a cerebral cell-mediated response, with subsequent vasodilatation and brain oedema. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first description of a delayed onset cell-mediated encephalitis caused by COVID-19 virus after more than 40 days from the diagnosis.

5.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E19, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954536

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many countries into lockdown and has led to the postponement of nonurgent neurosurgical procedures. Although stress has been investigated during this pandemic, there are no reports on anxiety in neurosurgical patients undergoing nonurgent surgical procedures. METHODS: Neurosurgical patients admitted to hospitals in eastern Lombardy for nonurgent surgery after the lockdown prospectively completed a pre- and postoperative structured questionnaire. Recorded data included demographics, pathology, time on surgical waiting list, anxiety related to COVID-19, primary pathology and surgery, safety perception during hospital admission before and after surgery, and surgical outcomes. Anxiety was measured with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Descriptive statistics were computed on the different variables and data were stratified according to pathology (oncological vs nononcological). Three different models were used to investigate which variables had the greatest impact on anxiety, oncological patients, and safety perception, respectively. Because the variables (Xs) were of a different nature (qualitative and quantitative), mostly asymmetrical, and related to outcome (Y) by nonlinear relationships, a machine learning approach composed of three steps (1, random forest growing; 2, relative variable importance measure; and 3, partial dependence plots) was chosen. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-three patients from 10 different hospitals were included in the study. None of the patients developed COVID-19 after surgery. State and trait anxiety were reported by 30.3% and 18.9% of patients, respectively. Higher values of state anxiety were documented in oncological compared to nononcological patients (46.7% vs 25%; p = 0.055). Anxiety was strongly associated with worry about primary pathology, surgery, disease worsening, and with stress during waiting time, as expected. Worry about positivity to SARS-CoV-2, however, was the strongest factor associated with anxiety, even though none of the patients were infected. Neuro-oncological disease was associated with state anxiety and with worry about surgery and COVID-19. Increased bed distance and availability of hand sanitizer were associated with a feeling of safety. CONCLUSIONS: These data underline the importance of psychological support, especially for neuro-oncological patients, during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Neurosurgical Procedures/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies
6.
J Neurosurg Sci ; 64(4): 383-388, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: More than a million and a half people are infected worldwide with more than 90,000 casualties. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is radically altering both socio-economic and health care scenarios. METHODS: On April 4th, 2020, at 13:30 CET, a webinar was broadcasted, organized by Global Neuro and supported by WFNS. Expert neurosurgeons from six different countries (China, Italy, South Korea, the USA, Colombia, and the UK) reported on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their health care systems and neurosurgical activity. RESULTS: The first part focused on the epidemiology until that date. The USA were the most affected State with 450,000 cases, followed by Italy (140,000 cases and 19,000 casualties), China (83,305 cases and 3345 have died), South Korea (10,156 cases with 177 casualties), the UK (38,168 cases and 3605 deaths) and Colombia (1267 cases and 25 deaths). The second part concerned Institution and staff reorganization. In every country all surgical plans have been modified. The third part was about neurosurgical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fourth and last part touched upon how to perform safe surgery and re-start after the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: In general, the pandemic scenario was presented as a thought-provoking challenge in all countries which requires tireless efforts for both maintaining emergency and elective neurosurgical procedures.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Neurosurgical Procedures , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/methods , Humans , Neurosurgeons , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
7.
JAMA Surg ; 155(8): 691-702, 2020 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-596400

ABSTRACT

Importance: There are limited data on mortality and complications rates in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who undergo surgery. Objective: To evaluate early surgical outcomes of patients with COVID-19 in different subspecialties. Design, Setting, and Participants: This matched cohort study conducted in the general, vascular and thoracic surgery, orthopedic, and neurosurgery units of Spedali Civili Hospital (Brescia, Italy) included patients who underwent surgical treatment from February 23 to April 1, 2020, and had positive test results for COVID-19 either before or within 1 week after surgery. Gynecological and minor surgical procedures were excluded. Patients with COVID-19 were matched with patients without COVID-19 with a 1:2 ratio for sex, age group, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, and comorbidities recorded in the surgical risk calculator of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Patients older than 65 years were also matched for the Clinical Frailty Scale score. Exposures: Patients with positive results for COVID-19 and undergoing surgery vs matched surgical patients without infection. Screening for COVID-19 was performed with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay in nasopharyngeal swabs, chest radiography, and/or computed tomography. Diagnosis of COVID-19 was based on positivity of at least 1 of these investigations. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was early surgical mortality and complications in patients with COVID-19; secondary end points were the modeling of complications to determine the importance of COVID-19 compared with other surgical risk factors. Results: Of 41 patients (of 333 who underwent operation during the same period) who underwent mainly urgent surgery, 33 (80.5%) had positive results for COVID-19 preoperatively and 8 (19.5%) had positive results within 5 days from surgery. Of the 123 patients of the combined cohorts (78 women [63.4%]; mean [SD] age, 76.6 [14.4] years), 30-day mortality was significantly higher for those with COVID-19 compared with control patients without COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 9.5; 95% CI, 1.77-96.53). Complications were also significantly higher (OR, 4.98; 95% CI, 1.81-16.07); pulmonary complications were the most common (OR, 35.62; 95% CI, 9.34-205.55), but thrombotic complications were also significantly associated with COVID-19 (OR, 13.2; 95% CI, 1.48-∞). Different models (cumulative link model and classification tree) identified COVID-19 as the main variable associated with complications. Conclusions and Relevance: In this matched cohort study, surgical mortality and complications were higher in patients with COVID-19 compared with patients without COVID-19. These data suggest that, whenever possible, surgery should be postponed in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgical Procedures, Operative/adverse effects , Surgical Procedures, Operative/mortality , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Comorbidity , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
8.
World Neurosurg ; 139: e818-e826, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-324728

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has consistently changed medical practice throughout specialties, regardless of their contribution in facing the disease itself. We surveyed neurosurgeons worldwide to investigate the situation they are experiencing. METHODS: A 17-question, web-based survey was administered to neurosurgeons worldwide through the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and the Neurosurgery Cocktail from March 28 to April 5, 2020, by web link or e-mail invitation. Questions were divided into 3 subgroups: general information, health system organization, and institutional plans for the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Collected data were initially elaborated using SurveyMonkey software. Country-specific data were extracted from the World Health Organization website. Statistical analysis was performed using R, version 3.6.3. RESULTS: Of the 446 respondents, most were from Italy (20%), India (19%), and Pakistan (5%). Surgical activity was significantly reduced in most centers (79%) and dedicated in-hospital routes were created for patients with SARS-CoV-2 (58%). Patient screening was performed only when there were symptoms (57%) and not routinely before surgery (18%). The preferred methods included a nasopharyngeal swab and chest radiograph. Health professionals were rarely screened (20%) and sometimes, even if SARS-CoV-2 positive, were asked to work if asymptomatic (26%). Surgical planning was changed in most institutions (92%), whereas indications were modified for nonurgent procedures (59%) and remained unchanged for subarachnoid hemorrhages (85%). CONCLUSIONS: Most neurosurgeons worldwide reported work reorganization and practices that respond to current international guidelines. Differences in practice might be related to the perception of the pandemic and significant differences in the health systems. Sharing data and experiences will be of paramount importance to address the present moment and challenges in the near future.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Global Health/standards , Neurosurgeons/standards , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , Surveys and Questionnaires/standards , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Global Health/trends , Humans , Neurosurgeons/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Acta Neurochir (Wien) ; 162(7): 1491-1494, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-165424

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 can attack the central nervous system in the early stages of infection. Headache, anosmia, and dysgeusia are common symptoms. Disturbance of consciousness and seizures can occur as complications in case of severe COVID-19. We described the case of a COVID-19 patient admitted for interstitial pneumonia and seizures. MRI showed newly diagnosed demyelinating lesions. High-dose steroid treatment allowed neurological and respiratory recovery. We speculated a delayed immune response induced by SARS-CoV-2. The virus may lead to a SIRS-like immune disorder or play a role of infective trigger. Prompt invasive treatment should be adopted to avoid hypoxic neurotoxicity and prevent CNS injuries.

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