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1.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(1): 105454, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023683

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 disproportionately affects older adults and individuals with cardiovascular co-morbidities. This report presents fifteen patients who had COVID-19 respiratory illness followed by cerebrovascular events. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A call by the Iranian Neurological Association gathered cases across the country who developed neurological symptoms attributed to hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke after a definite or probable Covid-19 respiratory illness. Definite cases were those with a typical respiratory illness, positive nasopharyngeal Covid-19 PCR test, and chest CT consistent with Covid-19 infection. Probable cases were defined by a typical respiratory illness, history of contacts with a Covid-19 case, and chest CT characteristic for Covid-19 infection. RESULTS: Fifteen patients (12 men and 3 women) with an age range of 38 to 93 years old (median: 65 years old) were included. Fourteen patients had a first-ever acute ischemic stroke and one patient had a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Eleven patients (73%) had previous cardiovascular comorbidities. The median time between respiratory symptoms and neurological symptoms was seven days (range 1-16 days). Stroke severity in two patients was mild (NIHSS ≤ 6), in six patients moderate (NIHSS: 7-12), and in seven patients severe (NIHSS ≥13). One patient received intravenous tissue plasminogen activator ( IV-tPA) with improved neurological symptoms. Six out of 15 patients (40%) died. All but one of those who survived had significant disability assessed by a modified ranking scale >2. The majority of patients in this case series had vascular risk factors and their stroke was associated with severe disability and death. CONCLUSION: This report highlights the need for further investigation of the links between Covid-19 and cerebrovascular events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cerebrovascular Disorders/etiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Cerebrovascular Disorders/diagnosis , Cerebrovascular Disorders/mortality , Cerebrovascular Disorders/therapy , Disability Evaluation , Female , Humans , Iran , Male , Middle Aged , Recovery of Function , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombolytic Therapy , Treatment Outcome
2.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(12): 105321, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-872317

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted global healthcare systems and this may affect stroke care and outcomes. This study examines the changes in stroke epidemiology and care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Zanjan Province, Iran. METHODS: This study is part of the CASCADE international initiative. From February 18, 2019, to July 18, 2020, we followed ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke hospitalization rates and outcomes in Valiasr Hospital, Zanjan, Iran. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model and an interrupted time series analysis (ITS) to identify changes in stroke hospitalization rate, baseline stroke severity [measured by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS)], disability [measured by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS)], presentation time (last seen normal to hospital presentation), thrombolytic therapy rate, median door-to-needle time, length of hospital stay, and in-hospital mortality. We compared in-hospital mortality between study periods using Cox-regression model. RESULTS: During the study period, 1,026 stroke patients were hospitalized. Stroke hospitalization rates per 100,000 population decreased from 68.09 before the pandemic to 44.50 during the pandemic, with a significant decline in both Bayesian [Beta: -1.034; Standard Error (SE): 0.22, 95% CrI: -1.48, -0.59] and ITS analysis (estimate: -1.03, SE = 0.24, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, we observed lower admission rates for patients with mild (NIHSS < 5) ischemic stroke (p < 0.0001). Although, the presentation time and door-to-needle time did not change during the pandemic, a lower proportion of patients received thrombolysis (-10.1%; p = 0.004). We did not see significant changes in admission rate to the stroke unit and in-hospital mortality rate; however, disability at discharge increased (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: In Zanjan, Iran, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted stroke outcomes and altered the delivery of stroke care. Observed lower admission rates for milder stroke may possibly be due to fear of exposure related to COVID-19. The decrease in patients treated with thrombolysis and the increased disability at discharge may indicate changes in the delivery of stroke care and increased pressure on existing stroke acute and subacute services. The results of this research will contribute to a similar analysis of the larger CASCADE dataset in order to confirm findings at a global scale and improve measures to ensure the best quality of care for stroke patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia/therapy , COVID-19 , Hospitalization/trends , Intracranial Hemorrhages/therapy , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care/trends , Stroke/therapy , Thrombolytic Therapy/trends , Time-to-Treatment/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bayes Theorem , Brain Ischemia/diagnosis , Brain Ischemia/mortality , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Hospital Mortality/trends , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Intracranial Hemorrhages/diagnosis , Intracranial Hemorrhages/mortality , Iran/epidemiology , Length of Stay/trends , Male , Middle Aged , Recovery of Function , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/mortality , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
4.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(9): 104938, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-210006

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2), now named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), may change the risk of stroke through an enhanced systemic inflammatory response, hypercoagulable state, and endothelial damage in the cerebrovascular system. Moreover, due to the current pandemic, some countries have prioritized health resources towards COVID-19 management, making it more challenging to appropriately care for other potentially disabling and fatal diseases such as stroke. The aim of this study is to identify and describe changes in stroke epidemiological trends before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This is an international, multicenter, hospital-based study on stroke incidence and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will describe patterns in stroke management, stroke hospitalization rate, and stroke severity, subtype (ischemic/hemorrhagic), and outcomes (including in-hospital mortality) in 2020 during COVID-19 pandemic, comparing them with the corresponding data from 2018 and 2019, and subsequently 2021. We will also use an interrupted time series (ITS) analysis to assess the change in stroke hospitalization rates before, during, and after COVID-19, in each participating center. CONCLUSION: The proposed study will potentially enable us to better understand the changes in stroke care protocols, differential hospitalization rate, and severity of stroke, as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, this will help guide clinical-based policies surrounding COVID-19 and other similar global pandemics to ensure that management of cerebrovascular comorbidity is appropriately prioritized during the global crisis. It will also guide public health guidelines for at-risk populations to reduce risks of complications from such comorbidities.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospitalization/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Hospital Mortality/trends , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Incidence , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/mortality , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
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