IJCM  Vol.11 No.12 , December 2020
Stroke as a Presenting Feature of COVID-19
Abstract: Objective: To analyze the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients presenting with acute stroke by determining their clinical characteristics, hospitalization course and prognosis. The common and conventional stroke risk factors in these patients were assessed with the aim of determining the role and contribution of the COVID-19 infection to stroke pathogenesis. Methods: Retrospective observational study involving 24 patients from a single tertiary care center over a time period of three months. Risk factors such as Age, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, smoking status and underlying cardiac history were analyzed. COVID-19 relevant laboratory and radiological data were documented. Results: 87.5% of patients had ischemic stroke, with 58.3% of total patients being younger than 55 years. An equal incidence of both Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension (37.5%) was identified. 29.2% were completely asymptomatic for COVID-19, of which 85.7% had no chest X-ray changes on admission. Eight patients (61.5%) developed pneumonia during admission despite an initially normal chest X-ray. Conclusion: Patients without COVID-19 symptoms and with normal chest radiography presenting with stroke does not rule out a possible underlying COVID-19 infection. Such patients may be positive for the virus and may go on to develop pneumonia shortly after suffering from strokes. This could suggest that stroke in COVID-19 patients is a possible initial presenting feature and consequence of the inflammatory state triggered by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. It is imperative to analyze the association of COVID-19 and stroke, and to maintain a high index of suspicion of COVID-19 infection in stroke patients, to enhance early detection and reduce transmission.
Cite this paper: Shah, A. , Shaikh, N. , Alattar, K. , Thomas, L. and Sabahat, U. (2020) Stroke as a Presenting Feature of COVID-19. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11, 743-749. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2020.1112055.

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