Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-17-2021

Publication Title

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: RCVS (Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstrictive Syndrome) is a condition associated with vasoactive agents that alter endothelial function. There is growing evidence that endothelial inflammation contributes to cerebrovascular disease in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In our study, we describe the clinical features, risk factors, and outcomes of RCVS in a multicenter case series of patients with COVID-19.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Multicenter retrospective case series. We collected clinical characteristics, imaging, and outcomes of patients with RCVS and COVID-19 identified at each participating site.

RESULTS: Ten patients were identified, 7 women, ages 21 - 62 years. Risk factors included use of vasoconstrictive agents in 7 and history of migraine in 2. Presenting symptoms included thunderclap headache in 5 patients with recurrent headaches in 4. Eight were hypertensive on arrival to the hospital. Symptoms of COVID-19 included fever in 2, respiratory symptoms in 8, and gastrointestinal symptoms in 1. One patient did not have systemic COVID-19 symptoms. MRI showed subarachnoid hemorrhage in 3 cases, intraparenchymal hemorrhage in 2, acute ischemic stroke in 4, FLAIR hyperintensities in 2, and no abnormalities in 1 case. Neurovascular imaging showed focal segment irregularity and narrowing concerning for vasospasm of the left MCA in 4 cases and diffuse, multifocal narrowing of the intracranial vasculature in 6 cases. Outcomes varied, with 2 deaths, 2 remaining in the ICU, and 6 surviving to discharge with modified Rankin scale (mRS) scores of 0 (n=3), 2 (n=2), and 3 (n=1).

CONCLUSIONS: Our series suggests that patients with COVID-19 may be at risk for RCVS, particularly in the setting of additional risk factors such as exposure to vasoactive agents. There was variability in the symptoms and severity of COVID-19, clinical characteristics, abnormalities on imaging, and mRS scores. However, a larger study is needed to validate a causal relationship between RCVS and COVID-19.

PubMed ID

34560378

Volume

30

Issue

12

First Page

106118

Last Page

106118

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