Acute ischemic stroke and vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia post COVID-19 vaccination; a systematic review

Zahra Kolahchi, Mohammad Hossein Khanmirzaei, Ashkan Mowla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: One of the rare but potentially serious side effects of COVID-19 vaccination is arterial and venous thrombosis. Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) cases have been reported post COVID-19 vaccination. Herein, we systematically reviewed the reported cases of AIS after COVID-19 vaccination. Method: This systematic review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline. We searched PubMed and Scopus until April 14, 2022 to find studies that reported AIS post COVID-19 vaccination. Results: We found 447 articles. From those, 140 duplicates were removed. After screening and excluding irrelevant articles, 29 studies (43 patients) were identified to be included. From all cases, 22 patients (51.1%) were diagnosed with AIS associated with Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Among AIS associated with VITT group, all received viral vector vaccines except one. The majority of cases with AIS and VITT were female (17 cases, 77.2%) and aged below 60 years (15 cases, 68%). Fourteen patients (32.5%) had additional thrombosis in other sites. Four of them (0.09%) showed concurrent CVST and ischemic stroke. Hemorrhagic transformation following AIS occurred in 7 patients (16.27%). Among 43 patients with AIS, at least 6 patients (14%) died during hospital admission. Conclusion: AIS has been reported as a rare complication within 4 weeks post COVID-19 vaccination, particularly with viral vector vaccines. Health care providers should be familiar with this rare consequence of COVID-19 vaccination in particular in the context of VITT to make a timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120327
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - Aug 15 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute ischemic stroke
  • COVID-19
  • Cerebral infarction
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Thrombosis
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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