Case series/case reports (Indigo)
Stroke is reported as a consequence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in several reports. However, data are sparse regarding the details of these patients in a multinational and large scale. In this article the authors conducted a multinational observational study on features of consecutive acute ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and cerebral venous or sinus thrombosis among SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. They further investigated the risk of large vessel occlusion, stroke severity as measured by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, and stroke subtype as measured by the TOAST (Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment) criteria among patients with acute ischemic stroke. In addition, they explored the neuroimaging findings, features of patients who were asymptomatic for SARS-CoV-2 infection at stroke onset, and the impact of geographic regions and countries’ health expenditure on outcomes. Among the 136 tertiary centers of 32 countries who participated in this study, 71 centers from 17 countries had at least 1 eligible stroke patient. Of 432 patients included, 323 (74.8%) had acute ischemic stroke, 91 (21.1%) intracranial hemorrhage, and 18 (4.2%) cerebral venous or sinus thrombosis. A total of 183 (42.4%) patients were women, 104 (24.1%) patients were <55 years of age, and 105 (24.4%) patients had no identifiable vascular risk factors. Among acute ischemic stroke patients, 44.5% (126 of 283 patients) had large vessel occlusion; 10% had small artery occlusion according to the TOAST criteria. We observed a lower median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (8 [3-17] versus 11 [5-17]; P=0.02) and higher rate of mechanical thrombectomy (12.4% versus 2%; P<0.001) in countries with middle-to-high health expenditure when compared with countries with lower health expenditure. Among 380 patients who had known interval onset of the SARS-CoV-2 and stroke, 144 (37.8%) were asymptomatic at the time of admission for SARS-CoV-2 infection. The authors observed a considerably higher rate of large vessel occlusions, a much lower rate of small vessel occlusion and lacunar infarction, and a considerable number of young stroke when compared with the population studies before the pandemic. The rate of mechanical thrombectomy was significantly lower in countries with lower health expenditures.
Shahjouei S, et al. SARS-CoV-2 and Stroke Characteristics: A Report From the Multinational COVID-19 Stroke Study Group. Stroke. 2021 Apr 21:STROKEAHA120032927. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.032927.