Stroke 'Not a Common Complication' in COVID-19: New Studies
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Two new large international studies have found relatively low rates of stroke in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

The objectives of this study were to measure the global impact of the pandemic on the volumes for intravenous thrombolysis (IVT), IVT transfers, and stroke hospitalizations over 4 months at the height of the pandemic compared with two control 4-month periods.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional, observational, retrospective study across 6 continents, 70 countries, and 457 stroke centers. Diagnoses were identified by their ICD-10 codes and/or classifications in stroke databases.

Results:
-- There were 91,373 stroke admissions in the 4 months immediately before compared to 80,894 admissions during the pandemic months, representing an 11.5% decline.

-- There were 13,334 IVT therapies in the 4 months preceding compared to 11,570 procedures during the pandemic, representing a 13.2% drop.

-- Interfacility IVT transfers decreased from 1,337 to 1,178, or an 11.9% decrease.

-- Recovery of stroke hospitalization volume was noted over the two later (May, June) versus the two earlier (March, April) pandemic months.

-- There was a 1.48% stroke rate across 119,967 COVID-19 hospitalizations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was noted in 3.3% (1,722/52,026) of all stroke admissions.

Conclusively, the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a global decline in the volume of stroke hospitalizations, IVT, and interfacility IVT transfers. Primary stroke centers and centers with higher COVID19 inpatient volumes experienced steeper declines. Recovery of stroke hospitalization was noted in the later pandemic months.

Source: https://n.neurology.org/content/early/2021/03/25/WNL.0000000000011885
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