COVID-19 has been associated with a hypercoagulable state causing cardiovascular and neurovascular complications. To further characterize cerebrovascular disease (CVD) in COVID-19, we review the current literature of published cases and additionally report the clinical presentation, laboratory and diagnostic testing results of 12 cases with COVID-19 infection and concurrent CVD from two academic medical centers in Houston, TX, USA, between March 1 and May 10, 2020. To date, there are 12 case studies reporting 47 cases of CVD in COVID-19. However, only 4 small case series have described the clinical and laboratory findings in patients with COVID-19 and concurrent stroke. Viral neurotropism, endothelial dysfunction, coagulopathy and inflammation are plausible proposed mechanisms of CVD in COVID-19 patients. In our case series of 12 patients, 10 patients had an ischemic stroke, of which 1 suffered hemorrhagic transformation and two had intracerebral hemorrhage. Etiology was determined to be embolic without a clear cause identified in 6 ischemic stroke patients, while the remaining had an identifiable source of stroke. The majority of the patients had elevated inflammatory markers such as D-dimer and interleukin-6. In patients with embolic stroke of unclear etiology, COVID-19 may have played a direct or indirect role in the processes that eventually led to the strokes while in the remaining cases, it is unclear if infection contributed partially or was an incidental finding.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology