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1.
J Clin Neurosci ; 99: 204-211, 2022 Mar 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1720461

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 has caused a massive surge in telemedicine utilization as patients and physicians tried to minimize in-person contact to avoid the spread and impact of the pandemic. This study aims to expand on the knowledge of telemedicine during and beyond the COVID-19 era as it pertains to its use, efficacy, and patient and provider satisfaction through surveys. METHODS: This is a retrospective study involving 93 patients and 33 Neurosurgery physicians who anonymously participated in the survey about their experience with telemedicine visits. RESULTS: Most respondents indicated extreme satisfaction with their telemedicine encounters during the pandemic (77%). As for how comfortable physicians are in providing a diagnosis via telemedicine compared to clinic visits, 7 (21.9%) physicians felt extremely comfortable, 13 (40.6%) felt somewhat comfortable, 2 (6.4%) were neutral, 9 (28.1%) felt somewhat uncomfortable and 1 (3.1%) felt extremely uncomfortable. Physical examination was the main tool that telemedicine didn't provide (n = 21, 100%). CONCLUSION: Telemedicine has become a major force in the health care system under the circumstances the world is witnessing. Physicians and patients have displayed high levels of satisfaction with telemedicine which could be pivotal to improving healthcare access to underprivileged areas beyond the pandemic.

3.
Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) ; 20(2): 174-182, 2021 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455340

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) are acquired pathological shunting lesions between the carotid artery and the cavernous sinus leading to elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). CCFs are commonly treated via endovascular embolization, which theoretically restores physiological pressure differentials. OBJECTIVE: To present our institutional data with CCF treated with embolization and discuss endovascular routes, recurrence rates, and dynamic IOP changes. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 42 CCF patients who underwent Onyx (Covidien, Irvine, California) embolization and pre- and postoperative IOP measurement at a single institution. RESULTS: CCFs were 19.0% direct (type A) and 81.0% indirect (types B, C, or D). Onyx-18 liquid embolisate was used during all embolizations. Overall rate of total occlusion was 83.3% and was statistically similar between direct and indirect fistulas. Preoperative IOP was elevated in 37.5%, 100.0%, 75.0%, and 50% in type A, B, C, and D fistulas, respectively. Average ΔIOP was -7.3 ± 8.5 mmHg (range: -33 to +8). Follow-up time was 4.64 ± 7.62 mo. Full angiographic occlusion was a predictor of symptom resolution at 1 mo (P = .026) and 6 mo (P = .021). Partial occlusion was associated with persistent symptoms postoperatively at 1 mo (P = .038) and 6 mo follow-up (P = .012). Beyond 6 mo, negative ΔIOP was associated with continued symptom improvement. Recurrence occurred in 9.5% of patients, all of which were indirect CCFs. CONCLUSION: Onyx embolization of CCF is an effective treatment for CCF and often results in the reversal of IOP elevation. Full occlusion predicts favorable clinical outcomes up to 6 mo. Postoperative IOP reduction may indicate favorable long-term clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula , Cavernous Sinus , Embolization, Therapeutic , Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula/diagnostic imaging , Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula/therapy , Humans , Intraocular Pressure , Retrospective Studies
4.
World Neurosurg ; 154: e473-e480, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376112

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an ongoing public health emergency. While most cases end in asymptomatic or minor illness, there is growing evidence that some COVID-19 infections result in nonconventional dire consequences. We sought to describe the characteristics of patients with intracranial hemorrhage who were infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Also, with the existing literature, we raise the idea of a possible association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and intracranial hemorrhage and propose possible pathophysiological mechanisms connecting the two. METHODS: We retrospectively collected and analyzed intracranial hemorrhage cases who were also positive for SARS-CoV-2 from 4 tertiary-care cerebrovascular centers. RESULTS: We identified a total of 19 patients consisting of 11 males (58%) and 8 females (42%). Mean age was 52.2, with 95% younger than 75 years of age. With respect to COVID-19 illness, 50% had mild-to-moderate disease, 21% had severe disease, and 20% had critical disease requiring intubation. Of the 19 cases, 12 patients had intraparenchymal hemorrhage (63%), 6 had subarachnoid hemorrhage (32%), and 1 patient had a subdural hematoma (5%). A total of 43% had an intracerebral hemorrhage score of 0-2 and 57% a score of 3-6. Modified Rankin Scale cores at discharge were 0-2 in 23% and 3-6 in 77%. The mortality rate was 59%. CONCLUSIONS: Our series sheds light on a distinct pattern of intracerebral hemorrhage in COVID-19-positive cases compared with typical non-COVID-19 cases, namely the severity of hemorrhage, high mortality rate, and the young age of patients. Further research is warranted to delineate a potential association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and intracranial hemorrhage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Intracranial Hemorrhages/etiology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Hematoma, Subdural/epidemiology , Hematoma, Subdural/etiology , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/mortality , Intubation, Intratracheal , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/etiology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
5.
World Neurosurg ; 153: e259-e264, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366706

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is a pressing public health issue. Although most cases do not result in severe illness requiring hospitalization, there is increasing evidence that SARS-CoV-2-induced inflammation can exacerbate pre-existing diseases. We sought to describe the characteristics of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage who were actively or very recently infected with SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We reviewed subarachnoid hemorrhage cases of patients who also were positive for SARS-CoV-2 at 5 high-volume cerebrovascular centers in the United States from March 2020 to January 2021. Cases of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage were analyzed. RESULTS: A total of 10 patients were identified, consisting of 5 women (50%) and 5 men (50%). Median age was 38.5 years. Four of the 10 patients (40%) were asymptomatic with respect to SARS-CoV-2-related symptoms, 3 patients (30%) had mild-to-moderate symptoms, and 3 patients (30%) had severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with pneumonia and sepsis. Of the 10 cases, 4 had dissecting pseudoaneurysms (40%), 3 in the posterior circulation and 1 in the anterior circulation. Among 6 saccular/blister aneurysms, 4 (67%) were ≤4 mm in largest diameter. CONCLUSIONS: Our experience with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage in patients positive for COVID-19 reveals a possibly distinct pattern compared with traditional aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, namely a high frequency of small aneurysms, dissecting pseudoaneurysms, and young patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Intracranial Aneurysm/complications , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/complications , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Adult , Age Factors , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
6.
J Neurosurg ; : 1-4, 2020 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304575

ABSTRACT

Herein, the authors present the case of a 54-year-old male diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during a screening test. The patient was asked to self-isolate at home and report with any exacerbations of symptoms. He presented later with pneumonia complicated by encephalopathy at days 14 and 15 from initial diagnosis, respectively. MRI of the brain showed bithalamic and gangliocapsular FLAIR signal abnormality with mild right-sided thalamic and periventricular diffusion restriction. A CT venogram was obtained given the distribution of edema and demonstrated deep venous thrombosis involving the bilateral internal cerebral veins and the vein of Galen. CSF workup was negative for encephalitis, as the COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and bacterial cultures were negative. A complete hypercoagulable workup was negative, and the venous thrombosis was attributed to a hypercoagulable state induced by COVID-19. The mental decline was attributed to bithalamic and gangliocapsular venous infarction secondary to deep venous thrombosis. Unfortunately, the patient's condition continued to decline, and care was withdrawn.

7.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 206: 106677, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230410

ABSTRACT

Owing to systemic inflammation and widespread vessel endotheliopathy, SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to confer an increased risk of cryptogenic stroke, particularly in patients without any traditional risk factors. In this report, we present a case of a 67-year-old female who presented with acute stroke from bilateral anterior circulation large vessel occlusions, and was incidentally found to be COVID-positive on routine hospital admission screening. The patient had a large area of penumbra bilaterally, and the decision was made to pursue bilateral simultaneous thrombectomy, with two endovascular neurosurgeons working on each side to achieve a faster time to recanalization. Our study highlights the utility and efficacy of simultaneous bilateral thrombectomy, and this treatment paradigm should be considered for use in patients who present with multifocal large vessel occlusions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/surgery , Endovascular Procedures , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/surgery , Stroke/etiology , Thrombectomy , Aged , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/diagnosis , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/etiology , Female , Humans , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/diagnosis , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/etiology
8.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 201: 106440, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059540

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE: Additional time is needed to determine the exact impact of COVID-19 on acute cerebrovascular disease incidence, but recently published data has correlated COVID-19 to large vessel occlusion strokes. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: We report the first case of central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) as the initial manifestation of COVID-19 infection. Subsequent neuroimaging revealed a large thrombus extending into the internal carotid artery. CONCLUSION: This case illustrates the need to suspect COVID-19 infection in patients presenting with retinal arterial occlusion, including individuals who are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic for COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Retinal Artery Occlusion/diagnostic imaging , Vision Disorders/diagnostic imaging , Vision, Monocular/physiology , COVID-19/complications , Diagnosis, Differential , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retinal Artery Occlusion/etiology , Vision Disorders/etiology
9.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 13(4): 304-307, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013062

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has affected stroke care globally. In this study, we aim to evaluate the impact of the current pandemic on racial disparities among stroke patients receiving mechanical thrombectomy (MT). METHODS: We used the prospectively collected data in the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry from 12 thrombectomy-capable stroke centers in the US and Europe. We included acute stroke patients who underwent MT between January 2017 and May 2020. We compared baseline features, vascular risk factors, location of occlusion, procedural metrics, complications, and discharge outcomes between patients presenting before (before February 2020) and those who presented during the pandemic (February to May 2020). RESULTS: We identified 2083 stroke patients: of those 235 (11.3%) underwent MT during the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared with pre-pandemic, stroke patients who received MT during the pandemic had longer procedure duration (44 vs 38 min, P=0.006), longer length of hospitalization (6 vs 4 days, P<0.001), and higher in-hospital mortality (18.7% vs 11%, P<0.001). Importantly, there was a lower number of African American patients undergoing MT during the COVID-19 pandemic (609 (32.9%) vs 56 (23.8%); P=0.004). CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the care process for stroke patients receiving MT globally. There is a significant decline in the number of African American patients receiving MT, which mandates further investigation.


Subject(s)
African Americans/ethnology , COVID-19/ethnology , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Pandemics , Stroke/ethnology , Thrombectomy/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Hospital Mortality/trends , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Internationality , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Registries , Risk Factors , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/methods , Treatment Outcome
11.
Stroke ; 51(9): e254-e258, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992145

ABSTRACT

Recent case-series of small size implied a pathophysiological association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe large-vessel acute ischemic stroke. Given that severe strokes are typically associated with poor prognosis and can be very efficiently treated with recanalization techniques, confirmation of this putative association is urgently warranted in a large representative patient cohort to alert stroke clinicians, and inform pre- and in-hospital acute stroke patient pathways. We pooled all consecutive patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and acute ischemic stroke in 28 sites from 16 countries. To assess whether stroke severity and outcomes (assessed at discharge or at the latest assessment for those patients still hospitalized) in patients with acute ischemic stroke are different between patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19, we performed 1:1 propensity score matching analyses of our COVID-19 patients with non-COVID-19 patients registered in the Acute Stroke Registry and Analysis of Lausanne Registry between 2003 and 2019. Between January 27, 2020, and May 19, 2020, 174 patients (median age 71.2 years; 37.9% females) with COVID-19 and acute ischemic stroke were hospitalized (median of 12 patients per site). The median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was 10 (interquartile range [IQR], 4-18). In the 1:1 matched sample of 336 patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19, the median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was higher in patients with COVID-19 (10 [IQR, 4-18] versus 6 [IQR, 3-14]), P=0.03; (odds ratio, 1.69 [95% CI, 1.08-2.65] for higher National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score). There were 48 (27.6%) deaths, of which 22 were attributed to COVID-19 and 26 to stroke. Among 96 survivors with available information about disability status, 49 (51%) had severe disability at discharge. In the propensity score-matched population (n=330), patients with COVID-19 had higher risk for severe disability (median mRS 4 [IQR, 2-6] versus 2 [IQR, 1-4], P<0.001) and death (odds ratio, 4.3 [95% CI, 2.22-8.30]) compared with patients without COVID-19. Our findings suggest that COVID-19 associated ischemic strokes are more severe with worse functional outcome and higher mortality than non-COVID-19 ischemic strokes.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia/complications , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Stroke/complications , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brain Ischemia/diagnostic imaging , Brain Ischemia/therapy , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Disability Evaluation , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Propensity Score , Recovery of Function , Registries , Stroke/diagnostic imaging , Stroke/therapy , Survival Analysis , Time-to-Treatment , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Treatment Outcome
14.
World Neurosurg ; 146: 20-25, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894259

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to fundamental disruptions of health care and its delivery with sweeping implications for patients and physicians of all specialties, including neurosurgery. In an effort to conserve hospital resources, neurosurgical procedures were classified into tiers to determine which procedures have to be performed in a timely fashion and which ones can be temporarily suspended to aid in the hospital's reallocation of resources when equipment is scarce. These guidelines were created quickly based on little existing evidence, and thus were initially variable and required refinement. As the early wave can now be assessed in retrospect, the authors describe the lessons learned and the protocols established based on published global evidence to continue to practice neurosurgery sensibly and minimize disruptions. These operational protocols can be applied in a surge of COVID-19 or another airborne pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Humans , Neurosurgery/standards , Neurosurgery/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/trends
16.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(11): 1039-1044, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-742246

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many centers altered stroke triage protocols for the protection of their providers. However, the effect of workflow changes on stroke patients receiving mechanical thrombectomy (MT) has not been systematically studied. METHODS: A prospective international study was launched at the initiation of the COVID-19 pandemic. All included centers participated in the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR) and Endovascular Neurosurgery Research Group (ENRG). Data was collected during the peak months of the COVID-19 surge at each site. Collected data included patient and disease characteristics. A generalized linear model with logit link function was used to estimate the effect of general anesthesia (GA) on in-hospital mortality and discharge outcome controlling for confounders. RESULTS: 458 patients and 28 centers were included from North America, South America, and Europe. Five centers were in high-COVID burden counties (HCC) in which 9/104 (8.7%) of patients were positive for COVID-19 compared with 4/354 (1.1%) in low-COVID burden counties (LCC) (P<0.001). 241 patients underwent pre-procedure GA. Compared with patients treated awake, GA patients had longer door to reperfusion time (138 vs 100 min, P=<0.001). On multivariate analysis, GA was associated with higher probability of in-hospital mortality (RR 1.871, P=0.029) and lower probability of functional independence at discharge (RR 0.53, P=0.015). CONCLUSION: We observed a low rate of COVID-19 infection among stroke patients undergoing MT in LCC. Overall, more than half of the patients underwent intubation prior to MT, leading to prolonged door to reperfusion time, higher in-hospital mortality, and lower likelihood of functional independence at discharge.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anesthesia, General , COVID-19 , Endovascular Procedures , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Independent Living , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Reperfusion , Thrombectomy/methods , Treatment Outcome , Workflow
17.
Int J Stroke ; 15(7): 733-742, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636180

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 is associated with neurological manifestations including stroke. OBJECTIVES: We present a case series of coronavirus disease 2019 patients from two institutions with acute cerebrovascular pathologies. In addition, we present a pooled analysis of published data on large vessel occlusion in the setting of coronavirus disease 2019 and a concise summary of the pathophysiology of acute cerebrovascular disease in the setting of coronavirus disease 2019. METHODS: A retrospective study across two institutions was conducted between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020, for patients developing acute cerebrovascular disease and diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019. We performed a literature review using the PubMed search engine. RESULTS: The total sample size was 22 patients. The mean age was 59.5 years, and 12 patients were female. The cerebrovascular pathologies were 17 cases of acute ischemic stroke, 3 cases of aneurysm rupture, and 2 cases of sinus thrombosis. Of the stroke and sinus thrombosis patients, the mean National Institute of Health Stroke Scale was 13.8 ± 8.0, and 16 (84.2%) patients underwent a mechanical thrombectomy procedure. A favorable thrombolysis in cerebral infarction score was achieved in all patients. Of the 16 patients that underwent a mechanical thrombectomy, the mortality incidence was five (31.3%). Of all patients (22), three (13.6%) patients developed hemorrhagic conversion requiring decompressive surgery. Eleven (50%) patients had a poor functional status (modified Rankin Score 3-6) at discharge, and the total mortality incidence was eight (36.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Despite timely intervention and favorable reperfusion, the mortality rate in coronavirus disease 2019 patients with large vessel occlusion was high in our series and in the pooled analysis. Notable features were younger age group, involvement of both the arterial and venous vasculature, multivessel involvement, and complicated procedures due to the clot consistency and burden.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Brain Ischemia/virology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Intracranial Hemorrhages/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Acute Disease , Adult , Aged , Brain Ischemia/diagnosis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/diagnosis , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Rate
18.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 91(8): 846-848, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-154812

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergence of the novel corona virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2) in December 2019 has led to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of COVID-19 involvement in the central nervous system is not well established, and the presence or the absence of SARS-CoV-2 particles in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a topic of debate. CASE DESCRIPTION: We present two patients with COVID-19 and concurrent neurological symptoms. Our first patient is a 31-year-old man who had flu-like symptoms due to COVID-19 and later developed an acute-onset severe headache and loss of consciousness and was diagnosed with a Hunt and Hess grade 3 subarachnoid haemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm. Our second patient is a 62-year-old woman who had an ischaemic stroke with massive haemorrhagic conversion requiring a decompressive hemicraniectomy. Both patients' CSF was repeatedly negative on real-time PCR analysis despite concurrent neurological disease. CONCLUSION: Our report shows that patients' CSF may be devoid of viral particles even when they test positive for COVID-19 on a nasal swab. Whether SARS-CoV-2 is present in CSF may depend on the systemic disease severity and the degree of the virus' nervous tissue tropism and should be examined in future studies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/cerebrospinal fluid , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Stroke/complications , Stroke/virology , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/cerebrospinal fluid
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