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1.
Brain Behav Immun ; 87: 115-119, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719345

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Acute stroke remains a medical emergency even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most patients with COVID-19 infection present with constitutional and respiratory symptoms; while others present with atypical gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, or neurological manifestations. Here we present a series of four patients with COVID-19 that presented with acute stroke. METHODS: We searched the hospital databases for patients that presented with acute stroke and concomitant features of suspected COVID-19 infection. All patients who had radiographic evidence of stroke and PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection were included in the study. Patients admitted to the hospital with PCR- confirmed COVID-19 disease whose hospital course was complicated with acute stroke while inpatient were excluded from the study. Retrospective patient data were obtained from electronic medical records. Informed consent was obtained. RESULTS: We identified four patients who presented with radiographic confirmation of acute stroke and PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We elucidate the clinical characteristics, imaging findings, and the clinical course. CONCLUSIONS: Timely assessment and hyperacute treatment is the key to minimize mortality and morbidity of patients with acute stroke. Stroke teams should be wary of the fact that COVID-19 patients can present with cerebrovascular accidents and should dawn appropriate personal protective equipment in every suspected patient. Further studies are urgently needed to improve current understandings of neurological pathology in the setting of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Stroke/metabolism , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/complications
2.
Neurocrit Care ; 35(2): 577-589, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516917

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multiple studies demonstrate that fever/elevated temperature is associated with poor outcomes in patients with vascular brain injury; however, there are no conclusive studies that demonstrate that fever prevention/controlled normothermia is associated with better outcomes. The primary objective of the INTREPID (Impact of Fever Prevention in Brain-Injured Patients) trial is to test the hypothesis that fever prevention is superior to standard temperature management in patients with acute vascular brain injury. METHODS: INTREPID is a prospective randomized open blinded endpoint study of fever prevention versus usual care in patients with ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. The fever prevention intervention utilizes the Arctic Sun System and will be compared to standard care patients in whom fever may spontaneously develop. Ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage or subarachnoid hemorrhage patients will be included within disease-specific time-windows. Both awake and sedated patients will be included, and treatment is initiated immediately upon enrollment. Eligible patients are expected to require intensive care for at least 72 h post-injury, will not be deemed unlikely to survive without severe disability, and will be treated for up to 14 days, or until deemed ready for discharge from the ICU, whichever comes first. Fifty sites in the USA and worldwide will participate, with a target enrollment of 1176 patients (1000 evaluable). The target temperature is 37.0 °C. The primary efficacy outcome is the total fever burden by °C-h, defined as the area under the temperature curve above 37.9 °C. The primary secondary outcome, on which the sample size is based, is the modified Rankin Scale Score at 3 months. All efficacy analyses including the primary and key secondary endpoints will be primarily based on an intention-to-treat population. Analysis of the as-treated and per protocol populations will also be performed on the primary and key secondary endpoints as sensitivity analyses. DISCUSSION: The INTREPID trial will provide the first results of the impact of a pivotal fever prevention intervention in patients with acute stroke ( www.clinicaltrials.gov ; NCT02996266; registered prospectively 05DEC2016).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Brain , Critical Care , Humans , Prospective Studies , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Stroke ; 52(6): 2125-2133, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352602

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has potentially caused indirect harm to patients with other conditions via reduced access to health care services. We aimed to describe the impact of the initial wave of the pandemic on admissions, care quality, and outcomes in patients with acute stroke in the United Kingdom. METHODS: Registry-based cohort study of patients with acute stroke admitted to hospital in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland between October 1, 2019, and April 30, 2020, and equivalent periods in the 3 prior years. RESULTS: One hundred fourteen hospitals provided data for a study cohort of 184 017 patients. During the lockdown period (March 23 to April 30), there was a 12% reduction (6923 versus 7902) in the number of admissions compared with the same period in the 3 previous years. Admissions fell more for ischemic than hemorrhagic stroke, for older patients, and for patients with less severe strokes. Quality of care was preserved for all measures and in some domains improved during lockdown (direct access to stroke unit care, 1-hour brain imaging, and swallow screening). Although there was no change in the proportion of patients discharged with good outcome (modified Rankin Scale score, ≤2; 48% versus 48%), 7-day inpatient case fatality increased from 6.9% to 9.4% (P<0.001) and was 22.0% in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (adjusted rate ratio, 1.41 [1.11-1.80]). CONCLUSIONS: Assuming that the true incidence of acute stroke did not change markedly during the pandemic, hospital avoidance may have created a cohort of untreated stroke patients at risk of poorer outcomes or recurrent events. Unanticipated improvements in stroke care quality should be used as an opportunity for quality improvement and to learn about how to develop resilient health care systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Quality of Health Care/standards , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Quality of Health Care/trends , Registries , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
Stroke Vasc Neurol ; 5(4): 331-336, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318206

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a global pandemic that has been an immense burden on healthcare systems all over the world. These patients may be at higher risk for acute ischaemic stroke (AIS). We present our experience with AIS in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: We reviewed all patients admitted to our hospital during a 6-week period with a positive nasopharyngeal swab test for SARS-CoV-2. Among these patients, we identified AIS. We reviewed the demographics, clinical, laboratory, imaging characteristics, treatments received and outcomes of AIS in patients with COVID-19. RESULTS: We identified 683 patients admitted with COVID-19 during the study period, of which 20 patients had AIS. Large-vessel occlusion (LVO) was noted in 11 patients (55%). Intravenous alteplase was administered in four patients (20%) and mechanical thrombectomy was performed in five patients (25%). Respiratory symptoms preceded the onset of AIS in most of the patients (70%) by 1 to 21 days. Mortality in patients with AIS was 50% compared with 26% of all COVID-19 admissions. Most of these patients died due to non-neurological causes (70%). Three patients with AIS had clinical and imaging findings consistent with COVID-19, but were negative for multiple nasopharyngeal swab tests. INTERPRETATION: LVO was more common in patients with AIS and COVID-19. They had more severe disease and higher mortality rates. Most of the patients had respiratory symptoms preceding AIS by days to weeks. This could explain certain patients with clinical picture of COVID-19 but negative nasopharyngeal swab tests.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia , COVID-19 , Stroke , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Thrombectomy
5.
Stroke Vasc Neurol ; 5(3): 279-284, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318202

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Apart from respiratory complications, acute cerebrovascular disease (CVD) has been observed in some patients with COVID-19. Therefore, we described the clinical characteristics, laboratory features, treatment and outcomes of CVD complicating SARS-CoV-2 infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Demographic and clinical characteristics, laboratory findings, treatments and clinical outcomes were collected and analysed. Clinical characteristics and laboratory findings of patients with COVID-19 with or without new-onset CVD were compared. RESULTS: Of 219 patients with COVID-19, 10 (4.6%) developed acute ischaemic stroke and 1 (0.5%) had intracerebral haemorrhage. COVID-19 with new onset of CVD were significantly older (75.7±10.8 years vs 52.1±15.3 years, p<0.001), more likely to present with severe COVID-19 (81.8% vs 39.9%, p<0.01) and were more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes and medical history of CVD (all p<0.05). In addition, they were more likely to have increased inflammatory response and hypercoagulable state as reflected in C reactive protein (51.1 (1.3-127.9) vs 12.1 (0.1-212.0) mg/L, p<0.05) and D-dimer (6.9 (0.3-20.0) vs 0.5 (0.1-20.0) mg/L, p<0.001). Of 10 patients with ischemic stroke; 6 received antiplatelet treatment with aspirin or clopidogrel; and 3 of them died. The other four patients received anticoagulant treatment with enoxaparin and 2 of them died. As of 24 March 2020, six patients with CVD died (54.5%). CONCLUSION: Acute CVD is not uncommon in COVID-19. Our findings suggest that older patients with risk factors are more likely to develop CVD. The development of CVD is an important negative prognostic factor which requires further study to identify optimal management strategy to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Cerebrovascular Disorders/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Acute Disease , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Cerebrovascular Disorders/diagnosis , Cerebrovascular Disorders/drug therapy , Cerebrovascular Disorders/mortality , China , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
6.
Stroke Vasc Neurol ; 5(2): 180-184, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318199

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has already stressed the healthcare system in the world. Many hospitals have been overwhelmed by the large number of patients with COVID-19. Due to the shortage of equipment and personnel and the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, many other healthcare services are on hold. However, at Beijing Tiantan Hospital, a rapid response system has been in place so that routine care is not interrupted. We, therefore, would like to share our hospital-wide prevention and management policy during this pandemic to help other healthcare systems to function in this crisis. METHOD: Tiantan hospital is one of the leading neuroscience institutions in the world. With 1650 beds, its annual inpatient admission exceeds 30 000 patients. Its COVID-19 rapid response policy was reviewed for its functionality. RESULTS: There are nine key components of this policy: an incident management system; a comprehensive infection prevention and control, outpatient triage and flow system; a designated fever clinic; patient screening and administration; optimised surgical operations, enhanced nucleic acid testing; screening of returning employees; and a supervision and feedback system. In addition, a specific protocol was designed for treating patients with acute stroke. CONCLUSION: A comprehensive policy is helpful to protect the employee from infection and to provide quality and uninterrupted care to all who need these, including patients with acute ischaemic stroke.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Brain Ischemia/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Infection Control/methods , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Stroke/therapy , Beijing , Brain Ischemia/diagnosis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Critical Pathways , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated , Health Services Needs and Demand , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Needs Assessment , Occupational Health , Pandemics , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Triage
7.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(8): 105919, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253283

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The characteristics and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in acute ischemic stroke in patients with COVID-19 infection have not been fully clarified. We prospectively studied the phenotypic and etiological features of acute stroke occurring in COVID-19 infection. PATIENTS & METHODS: Within nine months starting from April-2020, the presence of COVID-19 infection was determined by thoracic CT and SARS-CoV-2 PCR in all acute stroke cases managed in a single tertiary center. Consecutive and prospective data on vascular risk factors/comorbidities, in-hospital quality metrics, discharge outcomes, etiological subclassification and blood markers of thrombosis / inflammation were compared in 44 COVID-19 positive cases (37 acute ischemic stroke, 5 TIA, 2 intracerebral hematoma) and 509 COVID-19 negative patients (355 ischemic, 105 TIA, 44 hematoma and 5 stroke mimic). RESULTS: COVID-19 positive patients had more severe strokes, delayed hospital admission, longer hospital stay, higher mortality rates, but had similar vascular risk factors/comorbidities frequency, thrombolysis/thrombectomy utilization rates, metrics, and stroke etiological subtype. They had significantly higher CRP, fibrinogen, ferritin, leukocyte count and lower lymphocyte count. No difference was detected in aPTT, INR, D-dimer, platelet, hemoglobin, homocysteine levels and ANA, anti-dsDNA antibody and ENA panel positivity rates. Anti-phospholipid antibodies have been studied in 70% of COVID-19 positive and all cryptogenic patients, but were never found positive. Tests for coagulation factor levels and hereditary thrombophilia did not show major thrombophilia in any of the stroke patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSION: We documented that there is no significant difference in etiological spectrum in acute stroke patients with COVID-19 infection. In addition, cryptogenic stroke and antiphospholipid antibody positivity rates did not increase.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hemorrhagic Stroke/etiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/etiology , Ischemic Stroke/etiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hemorrhagic Stroke/diagnosis , Hemorrhagic Stroke/therapy , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Ischemic Attack, Transient/diagnosis , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Ischemic Stroke/diagnosis , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors
8.
Int J Med Inform ; 152: 104442, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245977

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: When it comes to critical early post-acute TIA/stroke phase, there is a lack of a comprehensive multi-parametric telemonitoring system. The COVID-19 emergency, its related global mobility restrictions and fear of hospitalization further highlighted the need of a comprehensive solution. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to design and test a pragmatic e-Health system based on multiparametric telemonitoring to support of TIA/stroke patients in sub-acute phase during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We proposed a telemonitoring system and protocol for TIA/minor stroke patients during COVID-19 pandemic for patients at risk of stroke recurrence. This system involves the use of portable devices for BP/HR/SpO2/temperature sensing, panic-button, gateway, and a dedicated ICT platform. The protocol is a 14-day multiparametric telemonitoring, therapy, and emergency intervention based on vital sign alteration notifications. We conducted a proof-of-concept validation test on 8 TIA/minor stroke patients in the early post-acute phase (< 14 days from ischemic event). RESULTS: The proposed solution allowed to promptly and remotely identify vital sign alterations at home during the early post-acute phase, allowing therapy and behavioral intervention adjustments. Also, we observed a significant improvement of quality of life, as well as a significant reduction of anxiety and depression status. TUQ showed ease of use, good interface quality and high user satisfaction of the proposed solution. The 3-month follow-up showed total adherence of prescribed therapy and no stroke/TIA recurrence or other emergency department admissions. CONCLUSION: The proposed e-Health solution and telemonitoring protocol may be highly useful for early post-acute remote patient management, thus supporting constant monitoring and patient adherence to the treatment pathway, especially during the COVID-19 emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Attack, Transient , Stroke , Telemedicine , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy
9.
Cerebrovasc Dis ; 50(5): 551-559, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238619

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant healthcare reorganizations, potentially striking standard medical care. We investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute stroke care quality and clinical outcomes to detect healthcare system's bottlenecks from a territorial point of view. METHODS: Crossed-data analysis between a prospective nation-based mandatory registry of acute stroke, Emergency Medical System (EMS) records, and daily incidence of COVID-19 in Catalonia (Spain). We included all stroke code activations during the pandemic (March 15-May 2, 2020) and an immediate prepandemic period (January 26-March 14, 2020). Primary outcomes were stroke code activations and reperfusion therapies in both periods. Secondary outcomes included clinical characteristics, workflow metrics, differences across types of stroke centers, correlation analysis between weekly EMS alerts, COVID-19 cases, and workflow metrics, and impact on mortality and clinical outcome at 90 days. RESULTS: Stroke code activations decreased by 22% and reperfusion therapies dropped by 29% during the pandemic period, with no differences in age, stroke severity, or large vessel occlusion. Calls to EMS were handled 42 min later, and time from onset to hospital arrival increased by 53 min, with significant correlations between weekly COVID-19 cases and more EMS calls (rho = 0.81), less stroke code activations (rho = -0.37), and longer prehospital delays (rho = 0.25). Telestroke centers were afflicted with higher reductions in stroke code activations, reperfusion treatments, referrals to endovascular centers, and increased delays to thrombolytics. The independent odds of death increased (OR 1.6 [1.05-2.4], p 0.03) and good functional outcome decreased (mRS ≤2 at 90 days: OR 0.6 [0.4-0.9], p 0.015) during the pandemic period. CONCLUSION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Catalonia's stroke system's weakest points were the delay to EMS alert and a decline of stroke code activations, reperfusion treatments, and interhospital transfers, mostly at local centers. Patients suffering an acute stroke during the pandemic period had higher odds of poor functional outcome and death. The complete stroke care system's analysis is crucial to allocate resources appropriately.


Subject(s)
Emergency Medical Services , Fibrinolytic Agents/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stroke/virology , Humans , Prospective Studies , Spain/epidemiology , Stroke/diagnosis , Thrombolytic Therapy/methods , Time-to-Treatment
10.
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
11.
Neurologist ; 26(3): 86-89, 2021 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1214712

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The concurrency of both, acute stroke and acute myocardial infarction in normal conditions, outside the pandemic is rare. Coagulopathy has been associated with the inflammatory phase of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and might be involved in this concurrency. CASES REPORT: We describe 2 patients with previous mild or no symptoms of COVID-19, admitted for acute stroke with recent/simultaneous myocardial infarction in whom admission polymerase chain reaction was negative but serologic testing diagnosed COVID-19. In these patients, concurrent stroke and myocardial infarction could have been promoted by COVID-19 infection. Management and evolution are detailed, and their contacts to confirm the COVID-19 infection. Pathogenic analysis of possible hypercoagulation state is described suggesting the hypothesis of endothelial dysfunction as the strongest mechanism involved in thrombus formation after the acute phase of COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSIONS: Our experience with these cases suggests that patients with mild symptoms can also present thromboembolic complications once the acute phase of COVID-19 infection has passed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Ischemic Stroke/etiology , Myocardial Infarction/etiology , Humans , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombophilia/complications , Thrombophilia/etiology
12.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(8): 105857, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213403

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To characterize differences in disposition arrangement among rehab-eligible stroke patients at a Comprehensive Stroke Center before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed a prospective registry for demographics, hospital course, and discharge dispositions of rehab-eligible acute stroke survivors admitted 6 months prior to (10/2019-03/2020) and during (04/2020-09/2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary outcome was discharge to an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) as opposed to other facilities using descriptive statistics, and IRF versus home using unadjusted and adjusted backward stepwise logistic regression. RESULTS: Of the 507 rehab-eligible stroke survivors, there was no difference in age, premorbid disability, or stroke severity between study periods (p>0.05). There was a 9% absolute decrease in discharges to an IRF during the pandemic (32.1% vs. 41.1%, p=0.04), which translated to 38% lower odds of being discharged to IRF versus home in unadjusted regression (OR 0.62, 95%CI 0.42-0.92, p=0.016). The lower odds of discharge to IRF persisted in the multivariable model (aOR 0.16, 95%CI 0.09-0.31, p<0.001) despite a significant increase in discharge disability (median discharge mRS 4 [IQR 2-4] vs. 2 [IQR 1-3], p<0.001) during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Admission for stroke during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a significantly lower probability of being discharged to an IRF. This effect persisted despite adjustment for predictors of IRF disposition, including functional disability at discharge. Potential reasons for this disparity are explored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Patient Discharge/trends , Patient Transfer/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Stroke Rehabilitation/trends , Stroke/therapy , Aged , Disability Evaluation , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New Jersey , Recovery of Function , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/physiopathology , Time Factors
13.
Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg ; 62(1): 119-125, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171631

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: A previous study revealed a preliminary trend towards higher in hospital mortality in patients admitted as an emergency with acute stroke during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. The current study aimed to further examine the possible impact of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection on in hospital mortality. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of health insurance claims data from the second largest insurance fund in Germany, BARMER. Patients hospitalised for ST elevation (STEMI) and non-ST elevation (NSTEMI) myocardial infarction, acute limb ischaemia (ALI), aortic rupture, acute stroke, or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) between 1 January 2017, and 31 October 2020, were included. Admission rates per 10 000 insured and mortality were compared between March - June 2017 - 2019 (pre-COVID) and March - June 2020 (COVID). Mortality rates were determined by the occurrence of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: A total of 316 718 hospitalisations were included (48.7% female, mean 72.5 years), and 21 191 (6.7%, 95% CI 6.6% - 6.8%) deaths occurred. In hospital mortality increased during the COVID-19 pandemic when compared with the three previous years for patients with acute stroke from 8.3% (95% CI 8.0 - 8.5) to 9.6% (95% CI 9.1 - 10.2), while no statistically significant changes were observed for STEMI, NSTEMI, ALI, aortic rupture, and TIA. When comparing patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (2.4%, 95% CI 2.3 - 2.5) vs. non-infected patients, a higher in hospital mortality was observed for acute stroke (12.4% vs. 9.0%), ALI (14.3% vs. 5.0%), and TIA (2.7% vs. 0.3%), while no statistically significant differences were observed for STEMI, NSTEMI, and aortic rupture. CONCLUSION: This retrospective analysis of claims data has provided hints of an association between the COVID-19 pandemic and increased in hospital mortality in patients with acute stroke. Furthermore, confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with increased mortality in patients with stroke, TIA, and ALI. Future studies are urgently needed to better understand the underlying mechanism and relationship between the new coronavirus and acute stroke.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Ischemic Attack, Transient/mortality , Peripheral Arterial Disease/mortality , Stroke/mortality , Administrative Claims, Healthcare/statistics & numerical data , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies/epidemiology , Extremities/blood supply , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality/trends , Humans , Insurance, Health/statistics & numerical data , Ischemic Attack, Transient/complications , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Male , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Peripheral Arterial Disease/complications , Peripheral Arterial Disease/therapy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Stroke/complications , Stroke/therapy
14.
Front Neurol ; 12: 627493, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121215

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is having major implications for stroke services worldwide. We aimed to study the impact of the national lockdown period during the COVID-19 outbreak on stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) care in London, UK. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data from a quality improvement registry of consecutive patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke and TIA to the Stroke Department, Imperial College Health Care Trust London during the national lockdown period (between March 23rd and 30th June 2020). As controls, we evaluated the clinical reports and stroke quality metrics of patients presenting with stroke or TIA in the same period of 2019. Results: Between March 23rd and 30th June 2020, we documented a fall in the number of stroke admissions by 31.33% and of TIA outpatient referrals by 24.44% compared to the same period in 2019. During the lockdown, we observed a significant increase in symptom onset-to-door time in patients presenting with stroke (median = 240 vs. 160 min, p = 0.020) and TIA (median = 3 vs. 0 days, p = 0.002) and a significant reduction in the total number of patients thrombolysed [27 (11.49%) vs. 46 (16.25%, p = 0.030)]. Patients in the 2020 cohort presented with a lower median pre-stroke mRS (p = 0.015), but an increased NIHSS (p = 0.002). We registered a marked decrease in mimic diagnoses compared to the same period of 2019. Statistically significant differences were found between the COVID and pre-COVID cohorts in the time from onset to door (median 99 vs. 88 min, p = 0.026) and from onset to needle (median 148 vs. 126 min, p = 0.036) for thrombolysis whilst we did not observe any significant delay to reperfusion therapies (door-to-needle and door-to-groin puncture time). Conclusions: National lockdown in the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a significant decrease in acute stroke admission and TIA evaluations at our stroke center. Moreover, a lower proportion of acute stroke patients in the pandemic cohort benefited from reperfusion therapy. Further research is needed to evaluate the long-term effects of the pandemic on stroke care.

15.
Stroke ; 52(5): 1682-1690, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117688

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The degree to which the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected systems of care, in particular, those for time-sensitive conditions such as stroke, remains poorly quantified. We sought to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 in the overall screening for acute stroke utilizing a commercial clinical artificial intelligence platform. METHODS: Data were derived from the Viz Platform, an artificial intelligence application designed to optimize the workflow of patients with acute stroke. Neuroimaging data on suspected patients with stroke across 97 hospitals in 20 US states were collected in real time and retrospectively analyzed with the number of patients undergoing imaging screening serving as a surrogate for the amount of stroke care. The main outcome measures were the number of computed tomography (CT) angiography, CT perfusion, large vessel occlusions (defined according to the automated software detection), and severe strokes on CT perfusion (defined as those with hypoperfusion volumes >70 mL) normalized as number of patients per day per hospital. Data from the prepandemic (November 4, 2019 to February 29, 2020) and pandemic (March 1 to May 10, 2020) periods were compared at national and state levels. Correlations were made between the inter-period changes in imaging screening, stroke hospitalizations, and thrombectomy procedures using state-specific sampling. RESULTS: A total of 23 223 patients were included. The incidence of large vessel occlusion on CT angiography and severe strokes on CT perfusion were 11.2% (n=2602) and 14.7% (n=1229/8328), respectively. There were significant declines in the overall number of CT angiographies (-22.8%; 1.39-1.07 patients/day per hospital, P<0.001) and CT perfusion (-26.1%; 0.50-0.37 patients/day per hospital, P<0.001) as well as in the incidence of large vessel occlusion (-17.1%; 0.15-0.13 patients/day per hospital, P<0.001) and severe strokes on CT perfusion (-16.7%; 0.12-0.10 patients/day per hospital, P<0.005). The sampled cohort showed similar declines in the rates of large vessel occlusions versus thrombectomy (18.8% versus 19.5%, P=0.9) and comprehensive stroke center hospitalizations (18.8% versus 11.0%, P=0.4). CONCLUSIONS: A significant decline in stroke imaging screening has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. This analysis underscores the broader application of artificial intelligence neuroimaging platforms for the real-time monitoring of stroke systems of care.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted/methods , Stroke/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , Computed Tomography Angiography , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Perfusion , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/complications , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Workflow
17.
Rev Neurosci ; 32(6): 659-669, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081630

ABSTRACT

During COVID-19 pandemic, a wide variety of stroke typologies have been described in patients affected by SARS-CoV-2. Investigating the case reports of acute stroke in COVID-19 patients, published since the beginning of the pandemic, we tried to trace the pathogenic mechanisms of stroke during SARS-CoV-2 infection. We conducted a systematic review analyzing demographic data, cerebrovascular risk factors, NIHSS score, vascular territory involvement and laboratory findings of 168 patients described in 89 studies, from a pool of 1243 records. Based on our results, we have identified different stroke profiles: (1) cerebral large vessel disease (CLVD) profile with a low disability, simultaneous onset of COVID-19 and stroke symptoms, good outcome and low serum levels of D-dimer and CRP; (2) intracranial bleeding (IB) profile with high disability, poor outcome and low levels of serum markers of inflammation and coagulopathy; (3) CLVD profile with a short time-lapse between COVID-19 symptoms and stroke onset, high neurological disability and very high systemic inflammatory markers; (4) multiple thrombo-embolic disease (MTED) profile with older patients, many comorbidities, disabling stroke, poor outcome, evident alteration of coagulation tests and high serum levels of both D-dimer and CRP. We therefore summarized these different profiles in a spectrum similar to that of visible light, where the violet-blue band included IB and CSVD with low inflammation and prothrombotic activity, the green-yellow band included CLVD with high inflammation and moderate prothrombotic activity and the orange-red band for MTED with moderate-high levels of inflammation and very high prothrombotic activity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stroke/complications , Age Factors , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Inflammation/etiology , Middle Aged , Stroke/etiology
18.
Stroke ; 52(2): 552-562, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060973

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has added challenges to providing quality acute stroke care due to the reallocation of stroke resources to COVID-19. Case series suggest that patients with COVID-19 have more severe strokes; however, no large series have compared stroke outcomes with contemporary non-COVID-19 patients. Purpose was to analyze the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in stroke care and to evaluate stroke outcomes according to the diagnosis of COVID-19. METHODS: Retrospective multicenter cohort study including consecutive acute stroke patients admitted to 7 stroke centers from February 25 to April 25, 2020 (first 2 months of the COVID-19 outbreak in Madrid). The quality of stroke care was measured by the number of admissions, recanalization treatments, and time metrics. The primary outcome was death or dependence at discharge. RESULTS: A total of 550 acute stroke patients were admitted. A significant reduction in the number of admissions and secondary interhospital transfers was found. COVID-19 was confirmed in 105 (19.1%) patients, and a further 19 patients were managed as suspected COVID-19 (3.5%). No differences were found in the rates of reperfusion therapies in ischemic strokes (45.5% non-COVID-19, 35.7% confirmed COVID-19, and 40% suspected COVID-19; P=0.265). However, the COVID-19 group had longer median door-to-puncture time (110 versus 80 minutes), which was associated with the performance of chest computed tomography. Multivariate analysis confirmed poorer outcomes for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratios, 2.05 [95% CI, 1.12-3.76] and 3.56 [95% CI, 1.15-11.05], respectively). CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that patients with COVID-19 have more severe strokes and poorer outcomes despite similar acute management. A well-established stroke care network helps to diminish the impact of such an outbreak in stroke care, reducing secondary transfers and allowing maintenance of reperfusion therapies, with a minor impact on door-to-puncture times, which were longer in patients who underwent chest computed tomography.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/virology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
19.
J Clin Neurol ; 17(1): 63-69, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1042701

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We aimed to determine whether the care process and outcomes in patients with acute stroke who received recanalization therapy changed during the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in South Korea. METHODS: We used data from a prospective multicenter reperfusion therapy registry to compare the care process-including the time from symptom onset to treatment, number of treated patients, and discharge disposition-and treatment outcomes between before and during the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea. RESULTS: Upon the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea, the number of patients receiving endovascular treatment to decrease temporarily but considerably. The use of emergency medical services by stroke patients increased from 91.5% before to 100.0% during the COVID-19 outbreak (p=0.025), as did the median time from symptom onset to hospital visit [median (interquartile range), 91.0 minutes (39.8-277.0) vs. 176.0 minutes (56.0-391.5), p=0.029]. Furthermore, more functionally dependent patients with disabilities were discharged home (59.5% vs. 26.1%, p=0.020) rather than staying in a regional or rehabilitation hospital. In contrast, there were no COVID-19-related changes in the times from the hospital visit to brain imaging and treatment or in the functional outcome, successful recanalization rate, or rate of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that a prehospital delay occurred during the COVID-19 outbreak, and that patients with acute stroke might have been reluctant to visit and stay in hospitals. Our findings indicate that attention should be paid to prehospital care and the behavior of patients with acute stroke during the COVID-19 outbreak.

20.
PLoS One ; 16(1): e0240385, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028768

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the proposed pathophysiologic mechanism of neurologic injury by SARS CoV-2, the frequency of stroke and henceforth the related hospital admissions were expected to rise. This paper investigated this presumption by comparing the frequency of admissions of stroke cases in Bangladesh before and during the pandemic. METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis of stroke admissions in a 100-bed stroke unit at the National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital (NINS&H) which is considerably a large stroke unit. All the admitted cases from 1 January to 30 June 2020 were considered. Poisson regression models were used to determine whether statistically significant changes in admission rates can be found before and after 25 March since when there is a surge in COVID-19 infections. RESULTS: A total of 1394 stroke patients took admission in the stroke unit during the study period. Half of the patients were older than 60 years, whereas only 2.6% were 30 years old or younger. The male to female ratio is 1.06:1. From January to March 2020, the mean rate of admission was 302.3 cases per month, which dropped to 162.3 cases per month from April to June, with an overall reduction of 46.3% in acute stroke admission per month. In those two periods, reductions in average admission per month for ischemic stroke (IST), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and venous stroke (VS) were 45.5%, 37.2%, 71.4% and 39.0%, respectively. Based on weekly data, results of Poisson regressions confirm that the average number of admissions per week dropped significantly during the last three months of the sample period. Further, in the first three months, a total of 22 cases of hyperacute stroke management were done, whereas, in the last three months, there was an 86.4% reduction in the number of hyperacute stroke patients getting reperfusion treatment. Only 38 patients (2.7%) were later found to be RT-PCR SARS Cov-2 positive based on nasal swab testing. CONCLUSION: This study revealed a more than fifty percent reduction in acute stroke admission during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether the reduction is related to the fear of getting infected by COVID-19 from hospitalization or the overall restriction on public movement or stay-home measures remains unknown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/therapy , Adult , Bangladesh/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
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