Stroke and mechanical thrombectomy in patients with COVID-19: technical observations and patient characteristics

J Neurointerv Surg. 2020 Jul;12(7):648-653. doi: 10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-016220. Epub 2020 May 25.

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 infections have been shown to be associated with a range of thromboembolic disease.

Objective: To describe our endovascular experience in a consecutive series of patients with COVID-19 who presented with large vessel occlusions, and to describe unique findings in this population.

Methods: Mechanical thrombectomy was performed on five consecutive patients with COVID-19 with large vessel occlusions. A retrospective study of these patients was performed. Patient demographics, laboratory values, mechanical thrombectomy technique, and clinical and angiographic outcomes were reviewed.

Results: Four patients with COVID-19 presented with anterior circulation occlusions and one patient with COVID-19 presented with both anterior and posterior circulation occlusions. All patients had coagulation abnormalities. Mean patient age was 52.8 years. Three patients presented with an intracranial internal carotid artery occlusion. Two patients presented with an intracranial occlusion and a tandem thrombus in the carotid bulb. One patient presented with an occlusion in both the internal carotid and basilar arteries. Clot fragmentation and distal emboli to a new vascular territory were seen in two of five (40%) patients, and downstream emboli were seen in all five (100%) patients. Patient clinical outcome was generally poor in this series of patients with COVID-19 large vessel occlusion.

Conclusion: Our series of patients with COVID-19 demonstrated coagulation abnormalities, and compared with our previous experience with mechanical thrombectomy in large vessel occlusion, this group of patients were younger, had tandem or multiple territory occlusions, a large clot burden, and a propensity for clot fragmentation. These patients present unique challenges that make successful revascularization difficult.

Keywords: embolic; infection; stroke.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / etiology
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / surgery
  • Basilar Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronavirus Infections / surgery*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia, Viral / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / surgery*
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome