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      Ischemic Stroke in Patients with COVID-19 Disease: A Report of 10 Cases from Iran

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          Abstract

          Ischemic stroke seems to be one of the most serious neurologic complications in patients with COVID-19 infection. Herein, we report a series of 10 ischemic stroke patients with concomitant COVID-19 disease. Out of 10, 8 had large infarcts (3 massive middle cerebral artery, 2 basilar artery, 2 posterior cerebral artery, and 1 internal carotid artery infarct territory). Two had cardiogenic embolic stroke due to atrial fibrillation. Almost half of our patients did not have a vascular risk factor. Nine did not have fever and were diagnosed with COVID-19 upon admission for stroke. Stroke occurred in the first week of respiratory symptoms with moderate pulmonary involvement. Most Patients did not have hypoxia and did not establish respiratory failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome. The blood pressures were low and hemorrhagic transformation did not occur even after antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy. Patients had markedly increased levels of lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, and D-dimer. Three patients died. It seems that ischemic strokes in COVID-19 patients tend to occur as large infarct and can be seen in patients with mild to moderate pulmonary involvement.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Tissue distribution of ACE2 protein, the functional receptor for SARS coronavirus. A first step in understanding SARS pathogenesis

          Abstract Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an acute infectious disease that spreads mainly via the respiratory route. A distinct coronavirus (SARS‐CoV) has been identified as the aetiological agent of SARS. Recently, a metallopeptidase named angiotensin‐converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been identified as the functional receptor for SARS‐CoV. Although ACE2 mRNA is known to be present in virtually all organs, its protein expression is largely unknown. Since identifying the possible route of infection has major implications for understanding the pathogenesis and future treatment strategies for SARS, the present study investigated the localization of ACE2 protein in various human organs (oral and nasal mucosa, nasopharynx, lung, stomach, small intestine, colon, skin, lymph nodes, thymus, bone marrow, spleen, liver, kidney, and brain). The most remarkable finding was the surface expression of ACE2 protein on lung alveolar epithelial cells and enterocytes of the small intestine. Furthermore, ACE2 was present in arterial and venous endothelial cells and arterial smooth muscle cells in all organs studied. In conclusion, ACE2 is abundantly present in humans in the epithelia of the lung and small intestine, which might provide possible routes of entry for the SARS‐CoV. This epithelial expression, together with the presence of ACE2 in vascular endothelium, also provides a first step in understanding the pathogenesis of the main SARS disease manifestations. Copyright © 2004 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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            Clinical characteristics of 113 deceased patients with coronavirus disease 2019: retrospective study

            Abstract Objective To delineate the clinical characteristics of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) who died. Design Retrospective case series. Setting Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China. Participants Among a cohort of 799 patients, 113 who died and 161 who recovered with a diagnosis of covid-19 were analysed. Data were collected until 28 February 2020. Main outcome measures Clinical characteristics and laboratory findings were obtained from electronic medical records with data collection forms. Results The median age of deceased patients (68 years) was significantly older than recovered patients (51 years). Male sex was more predominant in deceased patients (83; 73%) than in recovered patients (88; 55%). Chronic hypertension and other cardiovascular comorbidities were more frequent among deceased patients (54 (48%) and 16 (14%)) than recovered patients (39 (24%) and 7 (4%)). Dyspnoea, chest tightness, and disorder of consciousness were more common in deceased patients (70 (62%), 55 (49%), and 25 (22%)) than in recovered patients (50 (31%), 48 (30%), and 1 (1%)). The median time from disease onset to death in deceased patients was 16 (interquartile range 12.0-20.0) days. Leukocytosis was present in 56 (50%) patients who died and 6 (4%) who recovered, and lymphopenia was present in 103 (91%) and 76 (47%) respectively. Concentrations of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, creatinine, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, cardiac troponin I, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, and D-dimer were markedly higher in deceased patients than in recovered patients. Common complications observed more frequently in deceased patients included acute respiratory distress syndrome (113; 100%), type I respiratory failure (18/35; 51%), sepsis (113; 100%), acute cardiac injury (72/94; 77%), heart failure (41/83; 49%), alkalosis (14/35; 40%), hyperkalaemia (42; 37%), acute kidney injury (28; 25%), and hypoxic encephalopathy (23; 20%). Patients with cardiovascular comorbidity were more likely to develop cardiac complications. Regardless of history of cardiovascular disease, acute cardiac injury and heart failure were more common in deceased patients. Conclusion Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection can cause both pulmonary and systemic inflammation, leading to multi-organ dysfunction in patients at high risk. Acute respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure, sepsis, acute cardiac injury, and heart failure were the most common critical complications during exacerbation of covid-19.
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              Large-Vessel Stroke as a Presenting Feature of Covid-19 in the Young

              To rapidly communicate information on the global clinical effort against Covid-19, the Journal has initiated a series of case reports that offer important teaching points or novel findings. The case reports should be viewed as observations rather than as recommendations for evaluation or treatment. In the interest of timeliness, these reports are evaluated by in-house editors, with peer review reserved for key points as needed. We report five cases of large-vessel stroke in patients younger than 50 years of age who presented to our health system in New York City. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection was diagnosed in all five patients. Cough, headache, and chills lasting 1 week developed in a previously healthy 33-year-old woman (Patient 1) (Table 1). She then had progressive dysarthria with both numbness and weakness in the left arm and left leg over a period of 28 hours. She delayed seeking emergency care because of fear of Covid-19. When she presented to the hospital, the score on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was 19 (scores range from 0 to 42, with higher numbers indicating greater stroke severity), and computed tomography (CT) and CT angiography showed a partial infarction of the right middle cerebral artery with a partially occlusive thrombus in the right carotid artery at the cervical bifurcation. Patchy ground-glass opacities in bilateral lung apices were seen on CT angiography, and testing to detect SARS-CoV-2 was positive. Antiplatelet therapy was initiated; it was subsequently switched to anticoagulation therapy. Stroke workup with echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging of the head and neck did not reveal the source of the thrombus. Repeat CT angiography on hospital day 10 showed complete resolution of the thrombus, and the patient was discharged to a rehabilitation facility. Over a 2-week period from March 23 to April 7, 2020, a total of five patients (including the aforementioned patient) who were younger than 50 years of age presented with new-onset symptoms of large-vessel ischemic stroke. All five patients tested positive for Covid-19. By comparison, every 2 weeks over the previous 12 months, our service has treated, on average, 0.73 patients younger than 50 years of age with large-vessel stroke. On admission of the five patients, the mean NIHSS score was 17, consistent with severe large-vessel stroke. One patient had a history of stroke. Other pertinent clinical characteristics are summarized in Table 1. A retrospective study of data from the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, showed that the incidence of stroke among hospitalized patients with Covid-19 was approximately 5%; the youngest patient in that series was 55 years of age. 1 Moreover, large-vessel stroke was reported in association with the 2004 SARS-CoV-1 outbreak in Singapore. 2 Coagulopathy and vascular endothelial dysfunction have been proposed as complications of Covid-19. 3 The association between large-vessel stroke and Covid-19 in young patients requires further investigation. Social distancing, isolation, and reluctance to present to the hospital may contribute to poor outcomes. Two patients in our series delayed calling an ambulance because they were concerned about going to a hospital during the pandemic.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Cerebrovasc Dis
                Cerebrovasc Dis
                CED
                Cerebrovascular Diseases (Basel, Switzerland)
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, karger@karger.com )
                1015-9770
                1421-9786
                15 December 2020
                : 1-6
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Neurology, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                bMultiple Sclerosis Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran
                Author notes
                *Fahimeh Vahabizad, Department of Neurology, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Imam Khomeini Street, Tehran 009821 (Iran), fahime.vahabizad@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                ced-0001
                10.1159/000513279
                7801957
                33321492
                Copyright © 2020 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, References: 11, Pages: 6
                Categories
                Case Report

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