BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Higher rates of strokes have been observed in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but data regarding the outcomes of COVID-19 patients suffering from acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion (LVO) are lacking. We report our initial experience in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke with LVO in patients with COVID-19.
All consecutive patients with COVID-19 with acute ischemic stroke due to LVO treated in our institution during the 6 first weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak were included. Baseline clinical and radiological findings, treatment, and short-term outcomes are reported.
We identified 10 patients with confirmed COVID-19 treated for an acute ischemic stroke due to LVO. Eight were men, with a median age of 59.5 years. Seven had none or mild symptoms of COVID-19 at stroke onset. Median time from COVID-19 symptoms to stroke onset was 6 days. All patients had brain imaging within 3 hours from symptoms onset. Five patients had multi-territory LVO. Five received intravenous alteplase. All patients had mechanical thrombectomy. Nine patients achieved successful recanalization (mTICI2B-3), none experienced early neurological improvement, 4 had early cerebral reocclusion, and a total of 6 patients (60%) died in the hospital.
Best medical care including early intravenous thrombolysis, and successful and prompt recanalization achieved with mechanical thrombectomy, resulted in poor outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Although our results require further confirmation, a different pharmacological approach (antiplatelet or other) should be investigated to take in account inflammatory and coagulation disorders associated with COVID-19.