COVID-19 and cerebrovascular diseases: a comprehensive overview

Georgios Tsivgoulis, Lina Palaiodimou, Ramin Zand, Vasileios Arsenios Lioutas, Christos Krogias, Aristeidis H. Katsanos, Ashkan Shoamanesh, Vijay K. Sharma, Shima Shahjouei, Claudio Baracchini, Charalambos Vlachopoulos, Rossetos Gournellis, Petros P. Sfikakis, Else Charlotte Sandset, Andrei V. Alexandrov, Sotirios Tsiodras

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neurological manifestations are not uncommon during infection with the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A clear association has been reported between cerebrovascular disease and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, whether this association is causal or incidental is still unknown. In this narrative review, we sought to present the possible pathophysiological mechanisms linking COVID-19 and cerebrovascular disease, describe the stroke syndromes and their prognosis and discuss several clinical, radiological, and laboratory characteristics that may aid in the prompt recognition of cerebrovascular disease during COVID-19. A systematic literature search was conducted, and relevant information was abstracted. Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptor dysregulation, uncontrollable immune reaction and inflammation, coagulopathy, COVID-19-associated cardiac injury with subsequent cardio-embolism, complications due to critical illness and prolonged hospitalization can all contribute as potential etiopathogenic mechanisms leading to diverse cerebrovascular clinical manifestations. Acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis have been described in case reports and cohorts of COVID-19 patients with a prevalence ranging between 0.5% and 5%. SARS-CoV-2-positive stroke patients have higher mortality rates, worse functional outcomes at discharge and longer duration of hospitalization as compared with SARS-CoV-2-negative stroke patients in different cohort studies. Specific demographic, clinical, laboratory and radiological characteristics may be used as ‘red flags’ to alarm clinicians in recognizing COVID-19-related stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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