A study by Stefania Nannoni (Clinical Neurosciences) aimed to clarify the relationship between COVID-19 and acute cerebrovascular diseases (CVD), through a systematic review and meta-analysis. The team, led by Hugh Markus (Clinical Neurosciences), characterised the incidence, risk factors, clinical-radiological manifestations and outcome of COVID-19-associated stroke.
Accepted for publication in The International Journal of Stroke, the researchers reviewed articles on acute CVD in COVID-19 patients (December 2019 – September 2020). Of the 2,277 articles reviewed, 61 (2.7%) were included for meta-analysis. Of the 108,571 patients with COVID-19, acute CVD occurred in 1.4%. The most common manifestation was acute ischemic stroke (87.4%) with intracerebral hemorrhage being less common (11.6%). Patients with COVID-19 developing acute CVD, compared to those who did not, were older, more likely to have hypertension, diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, and severe infection. Compared to individuals who experienced a stroke without the infection, patients with COVID-19 and stroke were younger, had higher National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), higher frequency of large vessel occlusion, and higher in-hospital mortality rate.