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Cryptogenic strokes are more common and mortality is higher in COVID-19 patients than in controls with stroke.

Rate of Stroke Low in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19

THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of imaging-confirmed stroke is low in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, but mortality is higher than in contemporary controls without COVID-19 and historical controls, according to a study published online May 20 in Stroke.

Shadi Yaghi, M.D., from the New York University School of Medicine in Brooklyn, and colleagues compared the clinical characteristics of stroke patients with a concurrent diagnosis of COVID-19 who were hospitalized between March 15 and April 19, 2020, to the clinical characteristics of stroke patients without COVID-19 (contemporary controls) and historical controls with ischemic stroke discharged from March 15 to April 15, 2019.

The researchers found that 32 of 3,556 (0.9 percent) of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infection had imaging-proven ischemic stroke during the study period in 2020. Cryptogenic stroke was more common in patients with COVID-19 than contemporary and historical controls (65.6 versus 30.4 and 25.0 percent, respectively). Higher admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores and higher peak D-dimer levels were seen in COVID-19-positive patients compared with contemporary controls. COVID-19-positive patients were more likely to be younger men with elevated troponin and have a higher admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score and higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate than historical controls. Significantly higher in-hospital mortality was seen for patients with COVID-19 and stroke than historical and contemporary controls.

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