Acute cerebrovascular disease following COVID-19: a single center, retrospective, observational study

Yanan Li, Man Li, Mengdie Wang, Yifan Zhou, Jiang Chang, Ying Xian, David Wang, Ling Mao, Huijuan Jin, Bo Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

498 Scopus citations


Background and purpose COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Apart from respiratory complications, acute cerebrovascular disease (CVD) has been observed in some patients with COVID-19. Therefore, we described the clinical characteristics, laboratory features, treatment and outcomes of CVD complicating SARS-CoV-2 infection. Materials and methods Demographic and clinical characteristics, laboratory findings, treatments and clinical outcomes were collected and analysed. Clinical characteristics and laboratory findings of patients with COVID-19 with or without new-onset CVD were compared. Results Of 219 patients with COVID-19, 10 (4.6%) developed acute ischaemic stroke and 1 (0.5%) had intracerebral haemorrhage. COVID-19 with new onset of CVD were significantly older (75.7±10.8 years vs 52.1±15.3 years, p<0.001), more likely to present with severe COVID-19 (81.8% vs 39.9%, p<0.01) and were more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes and medical history of CVD (all p<0.05). In addition, they were more likely to have increased inflammatory response and hypercoagulable state as reflected in C reactive protein (51.1 (1.3-127.9) vs 12.1 (0.1-212.0) mg/L, p<0.05) and D-dimer (6.9 (0.3-20.0) vs 0.5 (0.1-20.0) mg/L, p<0.001). Of 10 patients with ischemic stroke; 6 received antiplatelet treatment with aspirin or clopidogrel; and 3 of them died. The other four patients received anticoagulant treatment with enoxaparin and 2 of them died. As of 24 March 2020, six patients with CVD died (54.5%). Conclusion Acute CVD is not uncommon in COVID-19. Our findings suggest that older patients with risk factors are more likely to develop CVD. The development of CVD is an important negative prognostic factor which requires further study to identify optimal management strategy to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number000431
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalStroke and Vascular Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticoagulation therapy
  • COVID-19
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Thromboembolic events
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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