Is the danger of elevated stroke severity increased with COVID-19?

COVID-19 risk of severe stroke

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Doctors internationally are discovering that incidences of strokes in sufferers affected by COVID-19 are related to worse outcomes together with the next mortality charge.

A analysis examine evaluating sufferers with COVID-19 and acute ischemic stroke to sufferers affected by stroke alone was revealed within the journal Stroke.

The researchers analyzed scientific knowledge and outcomes of 174 sufferers with COVID-19 and acute ischemic stroke. These sufferers have been matched and their scientific outcomes in contrast with non-COVID-19 sufferers with acute ischemic stroke. These sufferers have been matched on a number of components together with age, gender, and stroke threat components. The stroke threat components included have been hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart illness, coronary artery illness, most cancers, earlier stroke, smoking, weight problems, and dyslipidemia (excessive ranges of triglycerides or ldl cholesterol in blood). A complete of 330 sufferers have been included on this examine. The examine included sufferers with COVID-19 and stroke being handled at 28 well being care facilities in 16 international locations. The knowledge for comparability with sufferers with out COVID-19 was taken from the ASTRAL (Acute Stroke Registry and Analysis of Lausanne) Registry for the interval from 2003 to 2019.

Clinical outcomes associated to stroke severity and stroke end result have been estimated in response to the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale. Comparison of the 2 affected person teams, with and with out COVID-19 confirmed that:

Patients with COVID-19 suffered extra extreme strokes with a median rating of 10 on the NIHSS versus 6 amongst the non-COVID-19 sufferers;

Patients with COVID-19 suffered from extra extreme incapacity after stroke with a median Rankin rating of Four as in comparison with non-COVID-19 sufferers with a median Rankin rating of two (Rankin rating is a measure of incapacity ensuing from a stroke);

Odds of a affected person with COVID-19 and stroke dying is 4.three instances increased than sufferers with stroke alone.

Possible causes for the elevated threat of mortality and incapacity amongst COVID-19 sufferers

The researchers hypothesize that the physique’s response to COVID-19 infections such because the immune response, dehydration, and cardiac arrhythmias can even lead to situations that promote the formation of blood clots inside the blood vessels. This in flip will increase the danger of stroke. Additionally, the researchers additionally observe that the elevated stroke severity of the sufferers with COVID-19 on the time of admission as in comparison with the non-COVID-19 group may contribute to the more serious outcomes noticed. They observe within the examine, “The broad multi-system complications of COVID-19 including acute respiratory distress syndrome, cardiac arrhythmias, acute cardiac injury, shock, pulmonary embolism, cytokine release syndrome and secondary infection probably contribute further to the worse outcomes including higher mortality in these patients.”

This examine highlights the necessity for a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms behind the affiliation of COVID-19 and the severity of stroke, particularly by way of consciousness and therapy choices throughout this and any future pandemics.

Written by Bhavana Achary, Ph.D.


Ntaios G, Michel P, Georgiopoulos G, et al. Characteristics and Outcomes in Patients With COVID-19 and Acute Ischemic Stroke: The Global COVID-19 Stroke Registry. Stroke. 2020;10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.031208

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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