J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2021 Jan 8;30(4):105603. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.105603. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical, laboratory, temporal, radiographic, and outcome features of acute Intracranial Hemorrhage (ICH) in COVID-19 patients.
METHODS: Retrospective, observational, consecutive case series of patients admitted with ICH to Maimonides Medical Center from March 1 through July 31, 2020, who had confirmed or highly suspected COVID-19. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, imaging, and outcome data were analyzed. ICH rates among all strokes were compared to the same time period in 2019 in two-week time intervals. Correlation of systolic blood pressure variability (SBPV) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) to clinical outcomes were performed.
RESULTS: Of 324 patients who presented with stroke, 65 (20%) were diagnosed with non-traumatic ICH: 8 had confirmed and 3 had highly suspected COVID-19. Nine (82%) had at least one associated risk factor for ICH. Three ICHs occurred during inpatient anticoagulation. More than half (6) suffered either deep or cerebellar hemorrhages; only 2 were lobar hemorrhages. Two of 8 patients with severe pneumonia survived. During the NYC COVID-19 peak period in April, ICH comprised the highest percentage of all strokes (40%), and then steadily decreased week-after-week (p = 0.02). SBPV and NLR were moderately and weakly positively correlated to discharge modified Rankin Scale, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 associated ICH is often associated with at least one known ICH risk factor and severe pneumonia. There was a suggestive relative surge in ICH among all stroke types during the first peak of the NYC pandemic. It is important to be vigilant of ICH as a possible and important manifestation of COVID-19.