Cerebrovasc Dis Extra. 2021 May 11;11(2):55-60. doi: 10.1159/000516641. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (CO-VID-19) has an increased propensity for systemic hypercoagulability and thromboembolism. An association with cerebrovascular diseases, especially cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), has been reported among these patients. The objective of the present study was to identify risk factors for CVT as well as its presentation and outcome in COVID-19 patients.
METHODS: This is a multicenter and multinational observational study. Ten centers in 4 countries (Pakistan, Egypt, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates) participated in this study. The study included patients (aged >18 years) with symptomatic CVT and recent COVID-19 infection.
RESULTS: Twenty patients (70% men) were included. Their mean age was 42.4 years, with a male-to-female ratio of 2.3:1. Headache (85%) and seizures (65%) were the common presenting symptoms, with a mean admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 13. CVT was the presenting feature in 13 cases (65%), while 7 patients (35%) developed CVT while being treated for COVID-19 infection. Respiratory symptoms were absent in 45% of the patients. The most common imaging finding was infarction (65%), followed by hemorrhage (20%). The superior sagittal sinus (65%) was the most common site of thrombosis. Acute inflammatory markers were raised, including elevated serum D-dimer (87.5%), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (69%), and C-reactive protein (47%) levels. Homocysteine was elevated in half of the tested cases. The mortality rate was 20% (4 patients). A good functional outcome was seen in the surviving patients, with a mean modified Rankin Scale score at discharge of 1.3. Nine patients (45%) had a modified Rankin Scale score of 0-1 at discharge.
CONCLUSION: COVID-19-related CVT is more common among males at older ages when compared to previously reported non-COVID-19-related CVT cases. CVT should be suspected in COVID-19 patients presenting with headache or seizures. Mortality is high, but functional neurological outcome is good among survivors.