Publications by authors named "Alexandra Kvernland"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Carotid Stenosis and Recurrent Ischemic Stroke: A Post-Hoc Analysis of the POINT Trial.

Stroke 2021 May 4:STROKEAHA121034089. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Neurology and Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester (N.H.).

Background And Purpose: Randomized trials demonstrated the benefit of dual antiplatelet therapy in patients with minor ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack. We sought to determine whether the presence of carotid stenosis was associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke and whether the addition of clopidogrel to aspirin was associated with more benefit in patients with versus without carotid stenosis.

Methods: This is a post-hoc analysis of the POINT trial (Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and Minor Ischemic Stroke) that randomized patients with minor ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack within 12 hours from last known normal to receive either clopidogrel plus aspirin or aspirin alone. The primary predictor was the presence of ≥50% stenosis in either cervical internal carotid artery. The primary outcome was ischemic stroke. We built Cox regression models to determine the association between carotid stenosis and ischemic stroke and whether the effect of clopidogrel was modified by ≥50% carotid stenosis.

Results: Among 4881 patients enrolled POINT, 3941 patients met the inclusion criteria. In adjusted models, ≥50% carotid stenosis was associated with ischemic stroke risk (hazard ratio, 2.45 [95% CI, 1.68-3.57], <0.001). The effect of clopidogrel (versus placebo) on ischemic stroke risk was not significantly different in patients with <50% carotid stenosis (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.68 [95% CI, 0.50-0.93], =0.014) versus those with ≥50% carotid stenosis (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.45-1.72], =0.703), value for interaction=0.573.

Conclusions: The presence of carotid stenosis was associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke during follow-up. The effect of added clopidogrel was not significantly different in patients with versus without carotid stenosis.

Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03354429.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.034089DOI Listing
May 2021

HIV-Associated Rapidly Progressive Lymphoma of the Cavernous Sinus.

J Neuroophthalmol 2021 Apr 14. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Neurology, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WNO.0000000000001198DOI Listing
April 2021

A Prospective Study of Neurologic Disorders in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19 in New York City.

Neurology 2021 01 5;96(4):e575-e586. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

From the New York University Grossman School of Medicine (J.A.F., S.S., R.L., T.F., B.F., P.M.-V., T.S., S.B., D.Y., A.G., N.M., P.P., J.G., K.M., S.A., M.B., A.A., E.V., M.O., A.K., K.L., Daniel Friedman, David Friedman, M.H., J.H., S.T., J.H., N.A.-F., P.K., A.L., A.S.L., T.Z., D.E.K., B.M.C., J.T., S.Y., K.I., E.S., D.P., M.L., T.W., A.B.T., L.B., S.G.), New YorkUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (S.H.-Y.C., E.L.F.), PAThe Ohio State University (M.M., S.M.), ColumbusMedical University of Innsbruck (R.H.), AustriaThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (C.R., J.I.S., W.Z.), Baltimore, MDUniversity of Utah School of Medicine (M.S., A.d.H.), Salt Lake CityUniversity of Cambridge (D.M.), UK.

Objective: To determine the prevalence and associated mortality of well-defined neurologic diagnoses among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we prospectively followed hospitalized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-positive patients and recorded new neurologic disorders and hospital outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, multicenter, observational study of consecutive hospitalized adults in the New York City metropolitan area with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. The prevalence of new neurologic disorders (as diagnosed by a neurologist) was recorded and in-hospital mortality and discharge disposition were compared between patients with COVID-19 with and without neurologic disorders.

Results: Of 4,491 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized during the study timeframe, 606 (13.5%) developed a new neurologic disorder in a median of 2 days from COVID-19 symptom onset. The most common diagnoses were toxic/metabolic encephalopathy (6.8%), seizure (1.6%), stroke (1.9%), and hypoxic/ischemic injury (1.4%). No patient had meningitis/encephalitis or myelopathy/myelitis referable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and 18/18 CSF specimens were reverse transcriptase PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2. Patients with neurologic disorders were more often older, male, white, hypertensive, diabetic, intubated, and had higher sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores (all < 0.05). After adjusting for age, sex, SOFA scores, intubation, history, medical complications, medications, and comfort care status, patients with COVID-19 with neurologic disorders had increased risk of in-hospital mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.17-1.62, < 0.001) and decreased likelihood of discharge home (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.63-0.85, < 0.001).

Conclusions: Neurologic disorders were detected in 13.5% of patients with COVID-19 and were associated with increased risk of in-hospital mortality and decreased likelihood of discharge home. Many observed neurologic disorders may be sequelae of severe systemic illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010979DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7905791PMC
January 2021

Anticoagulation use and Hemorrhagic Stroke in SARS-CoV-2 Patients Treated at a New York Healthcare System.

Neurocrit Care 2020 Aug 24. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Neurology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, 10016, USA.

Background And Purpose: While the thrombotic complications of COVID-19 have been well described, there are limited data on clinically significant bleeding complications including hemorrhagic stroke. The clinical characteristics, underlying stroke mechanism, and outcomes in this particular subset of patients are especially salient as therapeutic anticoagulation becomes increasingly common in the treatment and prevention of thrombotic complications of COVID-19.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with hemorrhagic stroke (both non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage and spontaneous non-aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage) who were hospitalized between March 1, 2020, and May 15, 2020, within a major healthcare system in New York, during the coronavirus pandemic. Patients with hemorrhagic stroke on admission and who developed hemorrhage during hospitalization were both included. We compared the clinical characteristics of patients with hemorrhagic stroke and COVID-19 to those without COVID-19 admitted to our hospital system between March 1, 2020, and May 15, 2020 (contemporary controls), and March 1, 2019, and May 15, 2019 (historical controls). Demographic variables and clinical characteristics between the individual groups were compared using Fischer's exact test for categorical variables and nonparametric test for continuous variables. We adjusted for multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method.

Results: During the study period in 2020, out of 4071 patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19, we identified 19 (0.5%) with hemorrhagic stroke. Of all COVID-19 with hemorrhagic stroke, only three had isolated non-aneurysmal SAH with no associated intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Among hemorrhagic stroke in patients with COVID-19, coagulopathy was the most common etiology (73.7%); empiric anticoagulation was started in 89.5% of these patients versus 4.2% in contemporary controls (p ≤ .001) and 10.0% in historical controls (p ≤ .001). Compared to contemporary and historical controls, patients with COVID-19 had higher initial NIHSS scores, INR, PTT, and fibrinogen levels. Patients with COVID-19 also had higher rates of in-hospital mortality (84.6% vs. 4.6%, p ≤ 0.001). Sensitivity analyses excluding patients with strictly subarachnoid hemorrhage yielded similar results.

Conclusion: We observed an overall low rate of imaging-confirmed hemorrhagic stroke among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Most hemorrhages in patients with COVID-19 infection occurred in the setting of therapeutic anticoagulation and were associated with increased mortality. Further studies are needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of therapeutic anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12028-020-01077-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444897PMC
August 2020

Special considerations in the assessment of catastrophic brain injury and determination of brain death in patients with SARS-CoV-2.

J Neurol Sci 2020 10 8;417:117087. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

NYU Langone Medical Center, Department of Neurology, New York, NY 10016, United States of America; NYU Langone Medical Center, Department of Neurosurgery, New York, NY 10016, United States of America.

Introduction: The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has led to challenges in provision of care, clinical assessment and communication with families. The unique considerations associated with evaluation of catastrophic brain injury and death by neurologic criteria in patients with Covid-19 infection have not been examined.

Methods: We describe the evaluation of six patients hospitalized at a health network in New York City in April 2020 who had Covid-19, were comatose and had absent brainstem reflexes.

Results: Four males and two females with a median age of 58.5 (IQR 47-68) were evaluated for catastrophic brain injury due to stroke and/or global anoxic injury at a median of 14 days (IQR 13-18) after admission for acute respiratory failure due to Covid-19. All patients had hypotension requiring vasopressors and had been treated with sedative/narcotic drips for ventilator dyssynchrony. Among these patients, 5 had received paralytics. Apnea testing was performed for 1 patient due to the decision to withdraw treatment (n = 2), concern for inability to tolerate testing (n = 2) and observation of spontaneous respirations (n = 1). The apnea test was aborted due to hypoxia and hypotension. After ancillary testing, death was declared in three patients based on neurologic criteria and in three patients based on cardiopulmonary criteria (after withdrawal of support (n = 2) or cardiopulmonary arrest (n = 1)). A family member was able to visit 5/6 patients prior to cardiopulmonary arrest/discontinuation of organ support.

Conclusion: It is feasible to evaluate patients with catastrophic brain injury and declare brain death despite the Covid-19 pandemic, but this requires unique considerations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.117087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414304PMC
October 2020