COVID-19 Is an independent risk factor for acute ischemic stroke

P. Belani, J. Schefflein, S. Kihira, B. Rigney, B. N. Delman, K. Mahmoudi, J. Mocco, S. Majidi, J. Yeckley, A. Aggarwal, D. Lefton, A. H. Doshi

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133 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an active worldwide pandemic with diverse complications. Stroke as a presentation has not been strongly associated with COVID-19. The authors aimed to retrospectively review a link between COVID-19 and acute stroke. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective case-control study of 41 cases and 82 control subjects matched by age, sex, and risk factors. Cases were patients who underwent stroke alert imaging with confirmed acute stroke on imaging between March 16 and April 5, 2020, at 6 hospitals across New York City. Control subjects were those who underwent stroke alertimaging during the same timeframe without imaging evidence of acute infarction. Data pertaining to diagnosis of COVID-19 infection, patient demographics, and risk factors were collected. A univariate analysis was performed to assess the covariate effect of risk factors and COVID-19 status on stroke imaging with positive findings. RESULTS: The mean age for cases and controls was 65.5 6 15.3 years and 68.8 6 13.2 years, respectively. Of patients with acute ischemic stroke, 46.3% had COVID-19 infection compared with 18.3% of controls (P.001). After adjusting for age, sex, and risk factors, COVID-19 infection had a significant independent association with acute ischemic stroke compared with control subjects (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.7-8.9; P.001). CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that COVID-19 infection is significantly associated with imaging confirmation of acute ischemic stroke, and patients with COVID-19 should undergo more aggressive monitoring for stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1364
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020


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