Background: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic is associated with an increased incidence of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) secondary to large vessel occlusion (LVO). The treatment of these patients poses unique and significant challenges to health care providers requiring changes in existing protocols.
Case presentation: A 54-year-old COVID-19 positive patient developed sudden onset left hemiparesis secondary to an acute right middle cerebral artery occlusion (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score = 11). Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) was performed under a new protocol specifically designed to maximize protective measures for the team involved in the care of the patient. Mechanical Thrombectomy was performed successfully under general anesthesia resulting in TICI 3 recanalization. With regards to time metrics, time from door to reperfusion was 60 mins. The 24-h NIHSS score decreased to 2. Patient was discharged after 19 days after improvement of her pulmonary status with modified Rankin Scale = 1.
Conclusion: Patients infected by COVID-19 can develop LVO that is multifactorial in etiology. Mechanical thrombectomy in a COVID-19 confirmed patient presenting with AIS due to LVO is feasible with current mechanical thrombectomy devices. A change in stroke workflow and protocols is now necessary in order to deliver the appropriate life-saving therapy for COVID-19 positive patients while protecting medical providers.
Keywords: Acute ischemic stroke; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Large vessel occlusion; Mechanical thrombectomy; Personal protective equipment; SARS-CoV-2; Stroke workflow.
BMC Neurology (2020) 20(1):358
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