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Stroke and mechanical thrombectomy in patients with COVID-19: technical observations and patient characteristics
  1. Arthur Wang1,
  2. Grace K Mandigo1,
  3. Peter D Yim2,
  4. Philip M Meyers1,
  5. Sean D Lavine1
  1. 1 Department of Neurosurgery and Radiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2 Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Arthur Wang, Department of Neurosurgery and Radiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York NY 10032, New York, USA; aw3201{at}


Background COVID-19 infections have been shown to be associated with a range of thromboembolic disease.

Objective To describe our endovascular experience in a consecutive series of patients with COVID-19 who presented with large vessel occlusions, and to describe unique findings in this population.

Methods Mechanical thrombectomy was performed on five consecutive patients with COVID-19 with large vessel occlusions. A retrospective study of these patients was performed. Patient demographics, laboratory values, mechanical thrombectomy technique, and clinical and angiographic outcomes were reviewed.

Results Four patients with COVID-19 presented with anterior circulation occlusions and one patient with COVID-19 presented with both anterior and posterior circulation occlusions. All patients had coagulation abnormalities. Mean patient age was 52.8 years. Three patients presented with an intracranial internal carotid artery occlusion. Two patients presented with an intracranial occlusion and a tandem thrombus in the carotid bulb. One patient presented with an occlusion in both the internal carotid and basilar arteries. Clot fragmentation and distal emboli to a new vascular territory were seen in two of five (40%) patients, and downstream emboli were seen in all five (100%) patients. Patient clinical outcome was generally poor in this series of patients with COVID-19 large vessel occlusion.

Conclusion Our series of patients with COVID-19 demonstrated coagulation abnormalities, and compared with our previous experience with mechanical thrombectomy in large vessel occlusion, this group of patients were younger, had tandem or multiple territory occlusions, a large clot burden, and a propensity for clot fragmentation. These patients present unique challenges that make successful revascularization difficult.

  • embolic
  • infection
  • stroke

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  • Contributors AW made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work; the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data for the work; and drafting the work for important intellectual content. GKM, PDY, PMM, SDL provided final approval of the version to be published, revised the scientific content and appraised it critically for important intellectual content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval We obtained ethics approval for this study from the Columbia University institutional review board (IRB). IRB protocol number is IRB-AAAT0153. Participants gave informed consent before taking part in this study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. De-identified participant data.