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1.
Int J Stroke ; 16(7): 771-783, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374086

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effect of the COVID pandemic on stroke network performance is unclear, particularly with consideration of drip&ship vs. mothership models. AIMS: We systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed variations in stroke admissions, rate and timing of reperfusion treatments during the first wave COVID pandemic vs. the pre-pandemic timeframe depending on stroke network model adopted. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: The systematic review followed registered protocol (PROSPERO-CRD42020211535), PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL until 9 October 2020 for studies reporting variations in ischemic stroke admissions, treatment rates, and timing in COVID (first wave) vs. control-period. Primary outcome was the weekly admission incidence rate ratio (IRR = admissions during COVID-period/admissions during control-period). Secondary outcomes were (i) changes in rate of reperfusion treatments and (ii) time metrics for pre- and in-hospital phase. Data were pooled using random-effects models, comparing mothership vs. drip&ship model. Overall, 29 studies were included in quantitative synthesis (n = 212,960). COVID-period was associated with a significant reduction in stroke admission rates (IRR = 0.69, 95%CI = 0.61-0.79), with higher relative presentation of large vessel occlusion (risk ratio (RR) = 1.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.24-2.12). Proportions of patients treated with endovascular treatment increased (RR = 1.14, 95%CI = 1.02-1.28). Intravenous thrombolysis decreased overall (IRR = 0.72, 95%CI = 0.54-0.96) but not in the mothership model (IRR = 0.81, 95%CI = 0.43-1.52). Onset-to-door time was longer for the drip&ship in COVID-period compared to the control-period (+32 min, 95%CI = 0-64). Door-to-scan was longer in COVID-period (+5 min, 95%CI = 2-7). Door-to-needle and door-to-groin were similar in COVID-period and control-period. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a 35% drop in stroke admissions during the first pandemic wave, proportions of patients receiving reperfusion and time-metrics were not inferior to control-period. Mothership preserved the weekly rate of intravenous thrombolysis and the onset-to-door timing to pre-pandemic standards.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/therapy , Thrombolytic Therapy , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Reperfusion , Time-to-Treatment
2.
Atherosclerosis ; 332: 48-54, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1321994

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: SARS-Cov-2 predisposes patients to thrombotic complications, due to excessive inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, platelet activation, and coagulation/fibrinolysis disturbances. The aim of the present study was to evaluate clinical characteristics and prognostic impact of SARS-CoV-2 positivity among STEMI patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI). METHODS: We selected SARS-CoV-2 positive patients included in the ISACS-STEMI COVID-19, a retrospective multicenter European registry including 6609 STEMI patients treated with PPCI from March 1st until April 30th, in 2019 and 2020. As a reference group, we randomly sampled 5 SARS-Cov-2 negative patients per each SARS-CoV-2 positive patient, individually matched for age, sex, and hospital/geographic area. Study endpoints were in-hospital mortality, definite stent thrombosis, heart failure. RESULTS: Our population is represented by 62 positive SARS-CoV-2 positive patients who were compared with a matched population of 310 STEMI patients. No significant difference was observed in baseline characteristics or the modality of access to the PCI center. In the SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, the culprit lesion was more often located in the RCA (p < 0.001). Despite similar pre and postprocedural TIMI flow, we observed a trend in higher use of GP IIb-IIIa inhibitors and a significantly higher use of thrombectomy in the SARS-CoV-2 positive patients. SARS-CoV-2 positivity was associated with a remarkably higher in hospital mortality (29% vs 5.5%, p < 0.001), definite in-stent thrombosis (8.1% vs 1.6%, p = 0.004) and heart failure (22.6% vs 10.6%, p = 0.001) that was confirmed after adjustment for confounding factors. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that among STEMI patients, SARS-CoV-2 positivity is associated with larger thrombus burden, a remarkably higher mortality but also higher rates of in-stent thrombosis and heart failure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Percutaneous Coronary Intervention , ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction , Humans , Percutaneous Coronary Intervention/adverse effects , Registries , Reperfusion , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction/diagnosis , ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction/surgery , Treatment Outcome
3.
BMC Neurol ; 21(1): 238, 2021 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282244

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of our study was to analyse endovascular treatment (EVT) in patients presenting acute anterior circulation ischemic stroke with large-vessel occlusion (AIS-LVO) during the pandemic and post-epidemic periods. METHODS: Patients with AIS-LVO of the anterior circulation who underwent EVT were enrolled. According to the times of Wuhan closure and reopening, patients were divided into a pre-pandemic group (from November 8, 2019, to January 22, 2020), pandemic group (from January 23, 2020, to April 8, 2020) and post-epidemic group (from April 9, 2020, to June 24, 2020). The primary endpoints were the time delay among symptom onset to arriving hospital door, to groining puncture and to vascular reperfusion. Secondary endpoints were the functional outcomes evaluated by 90-day modified Rankin scale (mRS) score. RESULTS: In total, the times from onset to reperfusion (OTR, median 356 min vs. 310 min, p = 0.041) and onset to door (OTD, median 238 min vs. 167 min, p = 0.017) were prolonged in the pandemic group compared to the pre-pandemic group, and the delay continue in the post-epidemic period. In the subgroup analysis, the time from door to imaging (DTI) was significantly prolonged during the pandemic period. Interestingly, the prolonged DTI was corrected in the directly admitted subgroup during post-epidemic period. In addition, the functional outcomes showed no significant differences across the three periods. CONCLUSIONS: Total time and prehospital time were prolonged during the pandemic and post-epidemic periods. Urgent public education and improved in-hospital screening processes are necessary to decrease time delays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endovascular Procedures/methods , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brain Ischemia/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Reperfusion/methods , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
4.
J Neurol ; 268(10): 3561-3568, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121219

ABSTRACT

Whether and how SARS-CoV-2 outbreak affected in-hospital acute stroke care system is still matter of debate. In the setting of the STROKOVID network, a collaborative project between the ten centers designed as hubs for the treatment of acute stroke during SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Lombardy, Italy, we retrospectively compared clinical features and process measures of patients with confirmed infection (COVID-19) and non-infected patients (non-COVID-19) who underwent reperfusion therapies for acute ischemic stroke. Between March 8 and April 30, 2020, 296 consecutive patients [median age, 74 years (interquartile range (IQR), 62-80.75); males, 154 (52.0%); 34 (11.5%) COVID-19] qualified for the analysis. Time from symptoms onset to treatment was longer in the COVID-19 group [230 (IQR 200.5-270) minutes vs. 190 (IQR 150-245) minutes; p = 0.007], especially in the first half of the study period. Patients with COVID-19 who underwent endovascular thrombectomy had more frequently absent collaterals or collaterals filling ≤ 50% of the occluded territory (50.0% vs. 16.6%; OR 5.05; 95% CI 1.82-13.80) and a lower rate of good/complete recanalization of the primary arterial occlusive lesion (55.6% vs. 81.0%; OR 0.29; 95% CI 0.10-0.80). Post-procedural intracranial hemorrhages were more frequent (35.3% vs. 19.5%; OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.04-4.83) and outcome was worse among COVID-19 patients (in-hospital death, 38.2% vs. 8.8%; OR 6.43; 95% CI 2.85-14.50). Our findings showed longer delays in the intra-hospital management of acute ischemic stroke in COVID-19 patients, especially in the early phase of the outbreak, that likely impacted patients outcome and should be the target of future interventions.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia , COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke , Stroke , Aged , Brain Ischemia/complications , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Brain Ischemia/therapy , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Reperfusion , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy
5.
Brain Behav Immun ; 91: 649-667, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064858

ABSTRACT

For the last two decades, researchers have placed hopes in a new era in which a combination of reperfusion and neuroprotection would revolutionize the treatment of stroke. Nevertheless, despite the thousands of papers available in the literature showing positive results in preclinical stroke models, randomized clinical trials have failed to show efficacy. It seems clear now that the existing data obtained in preclinical research have depicted an incomplete picture of stroke pathophysiology. In order to ameliorate bench-to-bed translation, in this review we first describe the main actors on stroke inflammatory and immune responses based on the available preclinical data, highlighting the fact that the link between leukocyte infiltration, lesion volume and neurological outcome remains unclear. We then describe what is known on neuroinflammation and immune responses in stroke patients, and summarize the results of the clinical trials on immunomodulatory drugs. In order to understand the gap between clinical trials and preclinical results on stroke, we discuss in detail the experimental results that served as the basis for the summarized clinical trials on immunomodulatory drugs, focusing on (i) experimental stroke models, (ii) the timing and selection of outcome measuring, (iii) alternative entry routes for leukocytes into the ischemic region, and (iv) factors affecting stroke outcome such as gender differences, ageing, comorbidities like hypertension and diabetes, obesity, tobacco, alcohol consumption and previous infections like Covid-19. We can do better for stroke treatment, especially when targeting inflammation following stroke. We need to re-think the design of stroke experimental setups, notably by (i) using clinically relevant models of stroke, (ii) including both radiological and neurological outcomes, (iii) performing long-term follow-up studies, (iv) conducting large-scale preclinical stroke trials, and (v) including stroke comorbidities in preclinical research.


Subject(s)
Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Stroke/immunology , Stroke/physiopathology , Animals , Brain Ischemia/drug therapy , Comorbidity , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immunity/immunology , Immunity/physiology , Inflammation/immunology , Neuroprotection/immunology , Neuroprotection/physiology , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Reperfusion/methods , Reperfusion/trends
6.
Neurol Sci ; 42(2): 467-473, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1012220

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the reperfusion therapy for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients. Huizhou City utilized its experience with the SARS and MERS breakouts to establish a reperfusion treatment program for AIS patients. METHOD: This is a retrospective study on 8 certified stroke hospitals in Huizhou City from January 2020 to May 2020. We analyzed the number of AIS patients with reperfusion therapy, stroke type (anterior/posterior circulation stroke), modes of transport to hospital, NIHSS score, onset to door time (ODT), door to needle time (DNT), and door to puncture time (DPT). The analysis was compared with baseline data from the same time period in 2019. RESULT: In 2020, the number of AIS patients receiving reperfusion therapy decreased (315 vs. 377), NIHSS score increased [8 (4, 15) vs. 7 [ (1, 2)], P = 0.024], ODT increased [126 (67.5, 210.0) vs. 120.0 (64.0, 179.0), P = 0.032], and DNT decreased [40 (32.5, 55) vs. 48 (36, 59), P = 0.003]. DPT did not change. Seventy percent of AIS patients indicated self-visit as their main mode of transport to the hospital. In both periods, mild stroke patients were more likely to self-visit than utilize emergency systems [2019: 152 (57.6%) vs. 20 (45.6%), P = 0.034; 2020: 123 (56.9%) vs. 5 (14.7%), P < 0.001]. The NIHSS score for self-visiting patients was lower for patients who utilized the ambulance system in both years [self-visit: 6.00 (3.00, 12.00), ambulance: 14.00 (9.00, 19.00), P < 0.001]. The volume of reperfusion patients was lower in 2020; however, the decrease was only significant (P = 0.028) in February 2020. CONCLUSION: During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the number of AIS patients receiving reperfusion therapy significantly decreased when compared to the same period in 2019. The patients' condition increased severity, ODT increased, and the DNT decreased. DPT was not significant for self-visiting and ambulance patients. Moderate to severe stroke patients were more likely to utilize ambulance services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Process Assessment, Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Reperfusion/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Transportation of Patients/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , China , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Neurol Sci ; 42(2): 399-406, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-938581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, a decrease of stroke's hospital admissions and reperfusion therapy has been reported worldwide. This retrospective observational study assessed the volume of stroke cases managed in the Emergency Department (ED) and reperfusion therapies in an Italian stroke network with a high incidence of COVID-19, particularly to evaluate if the in-hospital rerouting and the switch from a drip-and-ship to a mothership model could assure an adequate volume of acute treatments. METHODS: We compared data from March 2020 with those from previous years and formulated five PICO questions regarding (1) incidence of stroke cases in the ED; (2) relation between stroke cases and COVID-19; (3) differences in the number of reperfusion therapies, (4) in the call-to-needle and door-to-needle times for intravenous thrombolysis, and (5) in the call-to-groin and door-to-groin times for thrombectomy. RESULTS: We found (1) a 28% decreased of confirmed stroke cases managed in the ED, (2) a negative correlation between stroke cases in ED and COVID-19 progression (rs = - .390, p = .030), and (3) a similar number of treatments in March 2020 and March 2019. The adoption of the mothership model (4) did not delay alteplase infusion (median call-to-needle p = .126, median door-to-needle p = .142) but led to (5) a significant reduction in median call-to-groin (p = .018) and door-to-groin times (p = .010). CONCLUSION: The "hospital avoidance" of stroke patients during the "stay-at-home" appeals needs to be considered for future public health campaigns. A prompt reorganization of the stroke network can guarantee optimal performances at times of crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Physical Distancing , Reperfusion/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Italy , Models, Organizational , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors
9.
BMC Neurol ; 20(1): 358, 2020 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792799

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic is associated with an increased incidence of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) secondary to large vessel occlusion (LVO). The treatment of these patients poses unique and significant challenges to health care providers requiring changes in existing protocols. CASE PRESENTATION: A 54-year-old COVID-19 positive patient developed sudden onset left hemiparesis secondary to an acute right middle cerebral artery occlusion (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score = 11). Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) was performed under a new protocol specifically designed to maximize protective measures for the team involved in the care of the patient. Mechanical Thrombectomy was performed successfully under general anesthesia resulting in TICI 3 recanalization. With regards to time metrics, time from door to reperfusion was 60 mins. The 24-h NIHSS score decreased to 2. Patient was discharged after 19 days after improvement of her pulmonary status with modified Rankin Scale = 1. CONCLUSION: Patients infected by COVID-19 can develop LVO that is multifactorial in etiology. Mechanical thrombectomy in a COVID-19 confirmed patient presenting with AIS due to LVO is feasible with current mechanical thrombectomy devices. A change in stroke workflow and protocols is now necessary in order to deliver the appropriate life-saving therapy for COVID-19 positive patients while protecting medical providers.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Endovascular Procedures/methods , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/surgery , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Thrombectomy/methods , Betacoronavirus , Brain Ischemia/complications , Brain Ischemia/diagnostic imaging , Brain Ischemia/surgery , COVID-19 , Cerebral Angiography , Computed Tomography Angiography , Emergency Medical Services , Female , Humans , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/complications , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/diagnostic imaging , Intubation, Intratracheal , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Reperfusion , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/complications , Stroke/diagnostic imaging , Stroke/surgery , Time-to-Treatment , Treatment Outcome
10.
J Neurol ; 268(7): 2314-2319, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-754555

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic would have particularly affected acute stroke care. However, its impact is clearly inherent to the local stroke network conditions. We aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on acute stroke care in the Lyon comprehensive stroke center during this period. METHODS: We conducted a prospective data collection of patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) treated with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) and/or mechanical thrombectomy (MT) during the COVID-19 period (from 29/02/2020 to 10/05/2020) and a control period (from 29/02/2019 to 10/05/2019). The volume of reperfusion therapies and pre and intra-hospital delays were compared during both periods. RESULTS: A total of 208 patients were included. The volume of IVT significantly decreased during the COVID-period [55 (54.5%) vs 74 (69.2%); p = 0.03]. The volume of MT remains stable over the two periods [72 (71.3%) vs 65 (60.8%); p = 0.14], but the door-to-groin puncture time increased in patients transferred for MT (237 [187-339] vs 210 [163-260]; p < 0.01). The daily number of Emergency Medical Dispatch calls considerably increased (1502 [1133-2238] vs 1023 [960-1410]; p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed a decrease in the volume of IVT, whereas the volume of MT remained stable although intra-hospital delays increased for transferred patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. These results contrast in part with the national surveys and suggest that the impact of the pandemic may depend on local stroke care networks.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia , COVID-19 , Stroke , Thrombectomy , Thrombolytic Therapy , Brain Ischemia/complications , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Brain Ischemia/therapy , France , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Reperfusion , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Treatment Outcome
11.
Eur J Neurol ; 27(12): 2491-2498, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-748698

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Spain has been one of the countries more heavily stricken by SARS-CoV-2, which has had huge implications for stroke care. The aim was to analyse the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak on reperfusion therapies for acute ischaemic stroke in the northwest of Spain. METHODS: This was a Spanish multicentre retrospective observational study based on data from tertiary hospitals of the NORDICTUS network. All patients receiving reperfusion therapy for ischaemic stroke between 30 December 2019 and 3 May 2020 were recorded, and their baseline, clinical and radiological characteristics, extra- and intra-hospital times of action, Code Stroke activation pathway, COVID-19 status, reperfusion rate, and short-term outcome before and after the setting of the emergency state were analysed. RESULTS: A total of 796 patients received reperfusion therapies for ischaemic stroke. There was a decrease in the number of patients treated per week (46.5 patients per week vs. 39.0 patients per week, P = 0.043) and a delay in out-of-hospital (95.0 vs. 110.0 min, P = 0.001) and door-to-needle times (51.0 vs. 55.0, P = 0.038). Patients receiving endovascular therapy obtained less successful reperfusion rates (92.9% vs. 86.6%, P = 0.016). COVID-19 patients had more in-hospital mortality. CONCLUSION: A decrease in the number of patients benefiting from reperfusion therapies was found, with a delay in out-of-hospital and door-to-needle times and worse reperfusion rates in northwest Spain. COVID-19 patients had more in-hospital mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Pandemics , Reperfusion , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Endovascular Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Spain/epidemiology , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Treatment Outcome
12.
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
13.
J Neurol ; 268(2): 403-408, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-656549

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: There are concerns that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak negatively affects the quality of care for acute cardiovascular conditions. We assessed the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on trends in hospital admissions and workflow parameters of acute stroke care in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. METHODS: We used data from the three hospitals that provide acute stroke care for the Amsterdam region. We compared two 7-week periods: one during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak (March 16th-May 3th 2020) and one prior to the outbreak (October 21st-December 8th 2019). We included consecutive patients who presented to the emergency departments with a suspected stroke and assessed the change in number of patients as an incidence-rate ratio (IRR) using a Poisson regression analysis. Other outcomes were the IRR for stroke subtypes, change in use of reperfusion therapy, treatment times, and in-hospital complications. RESULTS: During the COVID-19 period, 309 patients presented with a suspected stroke compared to 407 patients in the pre-COVID-19 period (IRR 0.76 95%CI 0.65-0.88). The proportion of men was higher during the COVID-19 period (59% vs. 47%, p < 0.001). There was no change in the proportion of stroke patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis (28% vs. 30%, p = 0.58) or endovascular thrombectomy (11% vs 12%, p = 0.82) or associated treatment times. Seven patients (all ischemic strokes) were diagnosed with COVID-19. CONCLUSION: We observed a 24% decrease in suspected stroke presentations during the COVID-19 outbreak, but no evidence for a decrease in quality of acute stroke care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Stroke/therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Ischemic Stroke/complications , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Poisson Distribution , Quality of Health Care , Reperfusion , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/complications , Stroke/epidemiology , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment , Treatment Outcome
14.
Stroke ; 51(9): e2111-e2114, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636734

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Anecdotal evidence suggests that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic mitigation efforts may inadvertently discourage patients from seeking treatment for stroke with resultant increased morbidity and mortality. Analysis of regional data, while hospital capacities for acute stroke care remained fully available, offers an opportunity to assess this. We report regional Stroke Team acute activations and reperfusion treatments during COVID-19 mitigation activities. METHODS: Using case log data prospectively collected by a Stroke Team exclusively serving ≈2 million inhabitants and 30 healthcare facilities, we retrospectively reviewed volumes of consultations and reperfusion treatments for acute ischemic stroke. We compared volumes before and after announcements of COVID-19 mitigation measures and the prior calendar year. RESULTS: Compared with the 10 weeks prior, stroke consultations declined by 39% (95% CI, 32%-46%) in the 5 weeks after announcement of statewide school and restaurant closures in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Results compared with the prior year and time trend analyses were consistent. Reperfusion treatments also appeared to decline by 31% (95% CI, 3%-51%), and specifically thrombolysis by 33% (95% CI, 4%-55%), but this finding had less precision. CONCLUSIONS: Upon the announcement of measures to mitigate COVID-19, regional acute stroke consultations declined significantly. Reperfusion treatment rates, particularly thrombolysis, also appeared to decline qualitatively, and this finding requires further study. Urgent public education is necessary to mitigate a possible crisis of avoiding essential emergency care due to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Stroke/complications , Stroke/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Indiana/epidemiology , Kentucky/epidemiology , Ohio/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Care Team , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Reperfusion , Stroke/epidemiology , Thrombectomy , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment , Treatment Outcome
15.
AJNR Am J Neuroradiol ; 41(8): 1357-1360, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-631008

ABSTRACT

New York City has become the global epicenter of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite a massive shift in health care resources, cerebrovascular disease continues to be a substantial burden. We review the first 10 patients undergoing thrombectomy following a series of governmental and institutional policy changes diverting resources to the care of critically ill patients with COVID-19. Ten patients with emergent large-vessel occlusion underwent thrombectomy between March 23 and April 1, 2020. Five patients tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Successful reperfusion was achieved in 9 of 10 patients, at a median time of 37 minutes from vascular access. The postprocedural NIHSS score improved by an average of 7.7 points. Of the 5 patients positive for COVID-19, none have experienced a critical respiratory illness. We report the early incidence of COVID-19 positivity in patients with emergent large-vessel occlusion and demonstrate that thrombectomy continues to be an efficacious option, as well as safe for health care providers.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke/surgery , Thrombectomy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New York City , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Reperfusion , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/etiology , Treatment Outcome
16.
Int J Stroke ; 15(7): 755-762, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617762

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Spain has been one of the countries heavily stricken by COVID-19. But this epidemic has not affected all regions equally. We analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital stroke admissions and in-hospital mortality in tertiary referral hospitals from North-West Spain. METHODS: Spanish multicenter retrospective observational study based on data from tertiary hospitals of the NORDICTUS network. We recorded the number of patients admitted for ischemic stroke between 30 December 2019 and 3 May 2020, the number of IVT and EVT procedures, and in-hospital mortality. RESULTS: In the study period, 2737 patients were admitted with ischemic stroke. There was a decrease in the weekly mean admitted patients during the pandemic (124 vs. 173, p<0.001). In-hospital mortality of stroke patients increased significantly (9.9% vs. 6.5%, p = 0.003), but there were no differences in the proportion of IVT (17.3% vs. 16.1%, p = 0.405) or EVT (22% vs. 23%, p = 0.504). CONCLUSION: We found a decrease in the number of ischemic stroke admissions and an increase in in-hospital mortality during the COVID-19 epidemic in this large study from North-West Spain. There were regional changes within the network, not fully explained by the severity of the pandemic in different regions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Brain Ischemia/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Stroke/mortality , Aged , Brain Ischemia/diagnosis , Brain Ischemia/therapy , COVID-19 , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Reperfusion , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/therapy , Tertiary Care Centers
17.
Stroke ; 51(8): 2315-2321, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-596641

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, doctors and public authorities have demonstrated concern about the reduction in quality of care for other health conditions due to social restrictions and lack of resources. Using a population-based stroke registry, we investigated the impact of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in stroke admissions in Joinville, Brazil. METHODS: Patients admitted after the onset of COVID-19 restrictions in the city (defined as March 17, 2020) were compared with those admitted in 2019. We analyzed differences between stroke incidence, types, severity, reperfusion therapies, and time from stroke onset to admission. Statistical tests were also performed to compare the 30 days before and after COVID-19 to the same period in 2019. RESULTS: We observed a decrease in total stroke admissions from an average of 12.9/100 000 per month in 2019 to 8.3 after COVID-19 (P=0.0029). When compared with the same period in 2019, there was a 36.4% reduction in stroke admissions. There was no difference in admissions for severe stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score >8), intraparenchymal hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS: The onset of COVID-19 was correlated with a reduction in admissions for transient, mild, and moderate strokes. Given the need to prevent the worsening of symptoms and the occurrence of medical complications in these groups, a reorganization of the stroke-care networks is necessary to reduce collateral damage caused by COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Incidence , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Intracranial Hemorrhages/therapy , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Quality of Health Care , Reperfusion , Stroke/therapy , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/therapy
18.
Stroke ; 51(7): 2224-2227, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-591363

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study aims to assess the number of patients with acute ischemic cerebrovascular events seeking in-patient medical emergency care since the implementation of social distancing measures in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: In this retrospective multicenter study, data on the number of hospital admissions due to acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack and numbers of reperfusion therapies performed in weeks 1 to 15 of 2020 and 2019 were collected in 4 German academic stroke centers. Poisson regression was used to test for a change in admission rates before and after the implementation of extensive social distancing measures in week 12 of 2020. The analysis of anonymized regional mobility data allowed for correlations between changes in public mobility as measured by the number and length of trips taken and hospital admission for stroke/transient ischemic attack. RESULTS: Only little variation of admission rates was observed before and after week 11 in 2019 and between the weeks 1 and 11 of 2019 and 2020. However, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant decrease in the number of admissions for transient ischemic attack was observed (-85%, -46%, -42%) in 3 of 4 centers, while in 2 of 4 centers, stroke admission rates decreased significantly by 40% and 46% after week 12 in 2020. A relevant effect on reperfusion therapies was found for 1 center only (thrombolysis, -60%; thrombectomy, -61%). Positive correlations between number of ischemic events and mobility measures in the corresponding cities were identified for 3 of 4 centers. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate and quantify decreasing hospital admissions due to ischemic cerebrovascular events and suggest that this may be a consequence of social distancing measures, in particular because hospital resources for acute stroke care were not limited during this period. Hence, raising public awareness is necessary to avoid serious healthcare and economic consequences of undiagnosed and untreated strokes and transient ischemic attacks.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Acute Disease , Aged , Brain Ischemia/therapy , COVID-19 , Catchment Area, Health , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals, Special/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , Reperfusion/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/therapy
19.
Stroke ; 51(8): 2307-2314, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-428110

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Emergency measures to treat patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and contain the outbreak is the main priority in each of our hospitals; however, these measures are likely to result in collateral damage among patients with other acute diseases. Here, we investigate whether the COVID-19 pandemic affects acute stroke care through interruptions in the stroke chain of survival. METHODS: A descriptive analysis of acute stroke care activity before and after the COVID-19 outbreak is given for a stroke network in southern Europe. To quantify the impact of the pandemic, the number of stroke code activations, ambulance transfers, consultations through telestroke, stroke unit admissions, and reperfusion therapy times and rates are described in temporal relationship with the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region. RESULTS: Following confinement of the population, our stroke unit activity decreased sharply, with a 25% reduction in admitted cases (mean number of 58 cases every 15 days in previous months to 44 cases in the 15 days after the outbreak, P<0.001). Consultations to the telestroke network declined from 25 every 15 days before the outbreak to 7 after the outbreak (P<0.001). The increasing trend in the prehospital diagnosis of stroke activated by 911 calls stopped abruptly in the region, regressing to 2019 levels. The mean number of stroke codes dispatched to hospitals decreased (78% versus 57%, P<0.001). Time of arrival from symptoms onset to stroke units was delayed >30 minutes, reperfusion therapy cases fell, and door-to-needle time started 16 minutes later than usual. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic is disruptive for acute stroke pathways. Bottlenecks in the access and delivery of patients to our secured stroke centers are among the main challenges. It is critical to encourage patients to continue seeking emergency care if experiencing acute stroke symptoms and to ensure that emergency professionals continue to use stroke code activation and telestroke networks.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Stroke/mortality , Stroke/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services , Hospital Units/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Care , Patient Transfer , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Reperfusion , Spain/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Survival Analysis , Telemedicine , Thrombolytic Therapy , Time-to-Treatment , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/therapeutic use
20.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(7): 664-668, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-391663

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is still spreading across the world. Although the pandemic has an all-round impact on medical work, the degree of its impact on endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) for patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is unclear. METHODS: We continuously included AIS patients with large artery occlusion who underwent EVT in a comprehensive stroke center before and during the Wuhan shutdown. The protected code stroke (PCS) for screening and treating AIS patients was established during the pandemic. The efficacy and safety outcomes including the rate of successful reperfusion (defined as modified Thrombolysis In Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) graded 2b or 3) and time intervals for reperfusion were compared between two groups: pre-pandemic and pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 55 AIS patients who received EVT were included. The baseline characteristics were comparable between the two groups. The time from hospital arrival to puncture (174 vs 125.5 min; p=0.002) and time from hospital arrival to reperfusion (213 vs 172 min; p=0.047) were significantly prolonged in the pandemic group compared with the pre-pandemic group. The rate of successful reperfusion was not significantly different between the two groups (85.7% (n=18) vs 88.2% (n=30); OR 0.971, 95% CI 0.785 to 1.203; p=1.000). CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest a proper PCS algorithm which combines the COVID-19 screening and protection measures could decrease the impact of the disease on the clinical outcomes of EVT for AIS patients to the lowest extent possible during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Thrombectomy/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brain Ischemia/surgery , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Endovascular Procedures/methods , Endovascular Procedures/trends , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , Reperfusion , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/surgery , Thrombectomy/methods , Treatment Outcome
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