Article Commentary: “Early Brain Imaging Shows Increased Severity of Acute Ischemic Strokes With Large Vessel Occlusion in COVID-19 Patients”
Burton J. Tabaac, MD
Escalard S, Chalumeau, Escalard C, Redjem H, Delvoye F, Hébert S, Smajda S, Ciccio G, Desilles J-P, Mazighi M, et al. Early Brain Imaging Shows Increased Severity of Acute Ischemic Strokes With Large Vessel Occlusion in COVID-19 Patients. Stroke. 2020.
In May of this year, amidst the sweeping COVID-19 global pandemic, the New England Journal of Medicine published a paper detailing how large vessel occlusive disease might be a presenting feature in patients with strokes secondary to the infection.1 The authors of this particular paper, cited above, build upon the NEJM observation with imaging evidence to posit that strokes secondary to COVID-19 are also more severe in nature.
Patients were selected and included to be a part of the comparative cohort if COVID-19 was diagnosed (via real-time PCR) and had documented acute large vessel occlusion between the observation and recruitment timeframe between March 15 and April 30, 2020. Two of the authors of the study were blinded to the COVID-19 status of the patient and were asked to quantify the infarct core volume for all patients with large vessel occlusion during the time period. During the study, fifteen patients with large vessel occlusion and confirmed COVID-19 infection were treated.