Acute stroke in COVID-19 patients: A first year experience in a Colombian hospital


COVID-19 may be a new risk factor for stroke. Stroke in COVID-19 varies from 1.1 to 8.1%. Various pathophysiological pathways predispose SARS-CoV-2 infected patients to stroke.


To describe COVID-19 patients with acute stroke in one Colombian Center.


From March 6 2020 and March 6 2021 records of patients with acute stroke and in-hospital positive PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test for Sars-CoV-2 infection were reviewed. Demographic, stroke and COVID-19 characteristics were extracted. Continuous variables were reported in means and ranges. Categorical variables were presented in frequencies and percentage. A descriptive narrative was performed.


Of 328 acute stroke patients 14 (4.2%) tested positive for PCR SARS-CoV-2. Mean age 56.4 years with 57% males. Five were (35.7%) without vascular risk factors but 9 (64.3%) overweight. Brain infarct diagnosed in 11 (78.5%), 53% with anterior circulation syndromes. Mean NIHSS score 11.8 and 7 (63%) received intravenous thrombolysis. Acute inflammatory blood biomarkers (D-dimer, ferritin, LDH elevated) were positive in all. 11 (78.5%) had symptomatic COVID-19 before stroke with a mean latency of 7 days. 12 (85.7%) had severe COVID-19 and 6 (42.8%) required mechanical ventilation. Outcome was unfavorable in 9 (64.3%) (The Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) >2), mean hospital stay was 21.8 days and in-hospital case fatality rate was 14.2%.


In susceptible individuals COVID-19 predisposes to stroke. Hypercoagulation and immune thrombosis may be at the culprit for this state. In Colombia, COVID-19 patients with stroke have similar characteristics to the described worldwide.

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