Background and purpose: Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is a common complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the underlying biological mechanisms remain unclear. We aimed to describe the prevalence of vessel wall alterations in patients with cryptogenic stroke through vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging (vwMRI). Methods: All consecutive patients admitted for AIS and COVID-19 to a single neuro-COVID unit from 10 November to 31 December 2020 were prospectively evaluated and underwent a complete etiologic workup for AIS. In patients with cryptogenic stroke, the diagnostic workup was completed with vwMRI study. Results: After the exclusion of four patients ineligible for MRI, a total of 10 patients were included (median age = 78 years, 50% males), of whom four (40%) had a cryptogenic stroke. vwMRI showed vascular changes consistent with inflammation of intracranial artery walls in three subjects (75%). Two patients had focal and one multifocal involvement. Conclusions: vwMRI detected signs of vascular inflammation in the majority of patients with cryptogenic AIS, leading to an etiologic definition with potential therapeutical implications. Our findings are best interpreted as hypothesis-generating, suggesting the possibility of expanding the diagnostic workup of cryptogenic stroke with vessel wall imaging.

Vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging in COVID-19-associated cryptogenic ischemic stroke

Mazzacane F.;Zito A.;Pichiecchio A.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background and purpose: Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is a common complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the underlying biological mechanisms remain unclear. We aimed to describe the prevalence of vessel wall alterations in patients with cryptogenic stroke through vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging (vwMRI). Methods: All consecutive patients admitted for AIS and COVID-19 to a single neuro-COVID unit from 10 November to 31 December 2020 were prospectively evaluated and underwent a complete etiologic workup for AIS. In patients with cryptogenic stroke, the diagnostic workup was completed with vwMRI study. Results: After the exclusion of four patients ineligible for MRI, a total of 10 patients were included (median age = 78 years, 50% males), of whom four (40%) had a cryptogenic stroke. vwMRI showed vascular changes consistent with inflammation of intracranial artery walls in three subjects (75%). Two patients had focal and one multifocal involvement. Conclusions: vwMRI detected signs of vascular inflammation in the majority of patients with cryptogenic AIS, leading to an etiologic definition with potential therapeutical implications. Our findings are best interpreted as hypothesis-generating, suggesting the possibility of expanding the diagnostic workup of cryptogenic stroke with vessel wall imaging.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1450165
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