Publications by authors named "Ariane Lewis"

118 Publications

Finding Your Voice.

Authors:
Ariane Lewis

Am J Hosp Palliat Care 2021 Apr 22:10499091211012610. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Despite being cognitively intact, patients with Guillain Barre Syndrome are often unable to communicate. Because of this, goals-of-care decisions may need to be made by family members/surrogates. Here, I describe a patient with Guillain Barre Syndrome whose voice was initially stifled by dysarthria, then hypophonia, then intubation, but who ultimately managed to express herself and convey her wishes regarding goals-of-care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10499091211012610DOI Listing
April 2021

Meningitis in the Setting of Frontoethmoidal and Temporal Meningoencephaloceles.

Neurohospitalist 2021 Apr 10;11(2):183-184. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

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

This is a patient with multiple meningoencephaloceles which resulted in bacterial meningitis and subsequent status epilepticus. We identify impressive imaging findings demonstrating herniation of the meninges from nasal and bitemporal skull base defects possibly as a result of intracranial hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1941874420958839DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7958690PMC
April 2021

Barriers to the Use of Neurologic Criteria to Declare Death in Africa.

Am J Hosp Palliat Care 2021 Mar 30:10499091211006921. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

There are varying medical, legal, social, religious and philosophical perspectives about the distinction between life and death. Death can be declared using cardiopulmonary or neurologic criteria throughout much of the world. After solicitation of brain death/death by neurologic criteria (BD/DNC) protocols from contacts around the world, we found that the percentage of countries with BD/DNC protocols is much lower in Africa than other developing regions. We performed an informal review of the literature to identify barriers to declaration of BD/DNC in Africa. We found that there are numerous medical, legal, social and religious barriers to the creation of BD/DNC protocols in Africa including 1) limited number of healthcare facilities, critical care resources and clinicians with relevant expertise; 2) absence of a political and legal framework codifying death; and 3) cultural and religious perspectives that present ideological conflict with the idea of BD/DNC, in particular, and between traditional and Western medicine, in general. Because there are a number of unique barriers to the creation of BD/DNC protocols in Africa, it remains to be seen how the World Brain Death Project, which is intended to create minimum standards for BD/DNC around the world, will impact BD/DNC determination in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10499091211006921DOI Listing
March 2021

Toxic Metabolic Encephalopathy in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19.

Neurocrit Care 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

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

Background: Toxic metabolic encephalopathy (TME) has been reported in 7-31% of hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); however, some reports include sedation-related delirium and few data exist on the etiology of TME. We aimed to identify the prevalence, etiologies, and mortality rates associated with TME in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-positive patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, multicenter, observational cohort study among patients with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection hospitalized at four New York City hospitals in the same health network between March 1, 2020, and May 20, 2020. TME was diagnosed in patients with altered mental status off sedation or after an adequate sedation washout. Patients with structural brain disease, seizures, or primary neurological diagnoses were excluded. The coprimary outcomes were the prevalence of TME stratified by etiology and in-hospital mortality (excluding comfort care only patients) assessed by using a multivariable time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for age, race, sex, intubation, intensive care unit requirement, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores, hospital location, and date of admission.

Results: Among 4491 patients with COVID-19, 559 (12%) were diagnosed with TME, of whom 435 of 559 (78%) developed encephalopathy immediately prior to hospital admission. The most common etiologies were septic encephalopathy (n = 247 of 559 [62%]), hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) (n = 331 of 559 [59%]), and uremia (n = 156 of 559 [28%]). Multiple etiologies were present in 435 (78%) patients. Compared with those without TME (n = 3932), patients with TME were older (76 vs. 62 years), had dementia (27% vs. 3%) or psychiatric history (20% vs. 10%), were more often intubated (37% vs. 20%), had a longer hospital length of stay (7.9 vs. 6.0 days), and were less often discharged home (25% vs. 66% [all P < 0.001]). Excluding comfort care patients (n = 267 of 4491 [6%]) and after adjustment for confounders, TME remained associated with increased risk of in-hospital death (n = 128 of 425 [30%] patients with TME died, compared with n = 600 of 3799 [16%] patients without TME; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.52, P = 0.031), and TME due to hypoxemia conferred the highest risk (n = 97 of 233 [42%] patients with HIE died, compared with n = 631 of 3991 [16%] patients without HIE; aHR 1.56, 95% CI 1.21-2.00, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: TME occurred in one in eight hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was typically multifactorial, and was most often due to hypoxemia, sepsis, and uremia. After we adjustment for confounding factors, TME was associated with a 24% increased risk of in-hospital mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12028-021-01220-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7962078PMC
March 2021

Increase in Ventricle Size and the Evolution of White Matter Changes on Serial Imaging in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19.

Neurocrit Care 2021 Mar 5. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

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

Background: Evolution of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unknown.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 4530 critically ill patients with COVID-19 admitted to three tertiary care hospitals in New York City from March 1 to June 30, 2020 to identify patients who had more than one brain MRI. We reviewed the initial and final MRI for each patient to (1) measure the percent change in the bicaudate index and third ventricular diameter and (2) evaluate changes in the presence and severity of white matter changes.

Results: Twenty-one patients had two MRIs separated by a median of 22 [Interquartile range (IQR) 14-30] days. Ventricle size increased for 15 patients (71%) between scans [median bicaudate index 0.16 (IQR 0.126-0.181) initially and 0.167 (IQR 0.138-0.203) on final imaging (p < 0.001); median third ventricular diameter 6.9 mm (IQR 5.4-10.3) initially and 7.2 mm (IQR 6.4-10.8) on final imaging (p < 0.001)]. Every patient had white matter changes on the initial and final MRI; between images, they worsened for seven patients (33%) and improved for three (14%).

Conclusions: On serial imaging of critically ill patients with COVID-19, ventricle size frequently increased over several weeks. White matter changes were often unchanged, but in some cases they worsened or improved, demonstrating there is likely a spectrum of pathophysiological processes responsible for these changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12028-021-01207-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935478PMC
March 2021

Cerebrospinal fluid in COVID-19: A systematic review of the literature.

J Neurol Sci 2021 02 10;421:117316. Epub 2021 Jan 10.

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

Objective: We sought to review the literature on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) testing in patients with COVID-19 for evidence of viral neuroinvasion by SARS-CoV-2.

Methods: We performed a systematic review of Medline and Embase between December 1, 2019 and November 18, 2020 to identify case reports or series of patients who had COVID-19 diagnosed based on positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or serologic testing and had CSF testing due to a neurologic symptom.

Results: We identified 242 relevant documents which included 430 patients with COVID-19 who had acute neurological symptoms prompting CSF testing. Of those, 321 (75%) patients had symptoms that localized to the central nervous system (CNS). Of 304 patients whose CSF was tested for SARS-CoV-2 PCR, there were 17 (6%) whose test was positive, all of whom had symptoms that localized to the central nervous system (CNS). The majority (13/17, 76%) of these patients were admitted to the hospital because of neurological symptoms. Of 58 patients whose CSF was tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibody, 7 (12%) had positive antibodies with evidence of intrathecal synthesis, all of whom had symptoms that localized to the CNS. Of 132 patients who had oligoclonal bands evaluated, 3 (2%) had evidence of intrathecal antibody synthesis. Of 77 patients tested for autoimmune antibodies in the CSF, 4 (5%) had positive findings.

Conclusion: Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in CSF via PCR or evaluation for intrathecal antibody synthesis appears to be rare. Most neurological complications associated with SARS- CoV-2 are unlikely to be related to direct viral neuroinvasion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.117316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833669PMC
February 2021

Determination of Brain Death-Reply.

JAMA 2021 02;325(5):494

Department of Neurology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.23234DOI Listing
February 2021

SARS-CoV-2 Is Not Detected in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Encephalopathic COVID-19 Patients.

Front Neurol 2020 11;11:587384. Epub 2020 Dec 11.

NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Health, New York, NY, United States.

Neurologic manifestations of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection have received wide attention, but the mechanisms remain uncertain. Here, we describe computational data from public domain RNA-seq datasets and cerebrospinal fluid data from adult patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia that suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection of the central nervous system is unlikely. We found that the mRNAs encoding the ACE2 receptor and the TMPRSS2 transmembrane serine protease, both of which are required for viral entry into host cells, are minimally expressed in the major cell types of the brain. In addition, CSF samples from 13 adult encephalopathic COVID-19 patients diagnosed with the viral infection via nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR did not show evidence for the virus. This particular finding is robust for two reasons. First, the RT-PCR diagnostic was validated for CSF studies using stringent criteria; and second, 61% of these patients had CSF testing within 1 week of a positive nasopharyngeal diagnostic test. We propose that neurologic sequelae of COVID-19 are not due to SARS-CoV-2 meningoencephalitis and that other etiologies are more likely mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.587384DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759491PMC
December 2020

Correction to: Requests for somatic support after neurologic death determination: Canadian physician experiences; Demandes de soutien des fonctions vitales après un diagnostic de décès neurologique : les expériences des médecins canadiens.

Can J Anaesth 2020 Nov 24. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

The ESM was updated in the original article to replace an incorrect version that was published with tracked changes notes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12630-020-01871-6DOI Listing
November 2020

New perspectives on brain death.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2021 Mar 20;92(3):255-262. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Neurology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Brain death, or death by neurological criteria (BD/DNC), has been accepted conceptually, medically and legally for decades. Nevertheless, some areas remain controversial or understudied, pointing to a need for focused research to advance the field. Multiple recent contributions have increased our understanding of BD/DNC, solidified our practice and provided guidance where previously lacking. There have also been important developments on a global scale, including in low-to-middle income countries such as in South America. Although variability in protocols and practice still exists, new efforts are underway to reduce inconsistencies and better train practitioners in accurate and sound BD/DNC determination. Various legal challenges have required formal responses from national societies, and the American Academy of Neurology has filled this void with much needed guidance. Questions remain regarding concepts such as 'whole brain' versus 'brainstem' death, and the intersection of BD/DNC and rubrics of medical futility. These concepts are the subject of this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-323952DOI Listing
March 2021

Requests for somatic support after neurologic death determination: Canadian physician experiences.

Can J Anaesth 2021 Mar 10;68(3):293-314. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Purpose: Neurologic determination of death (NDD) is legally accepted as death in Canada but remains susceptible to misunderstandings. In some cases, families request continued organ support after NDD. Conflicts can escalate to formal legal challenges, causing emotional, financial, and moral distress for all involved. We describe prevalence, characteristics, and common experiences with requests for continued organ support following NDD in Canada.

Methods: Mixed-methods design combining anonymous online survey with semi-structured interviews of Canadian critical care physicians (448 practitioners, adult and pediatric).

Results: One hundred and six physicians responded to the survey and 12 participated in an interview. Fifty-two percent (55/106) of respondents had encountered a request for continued organ support after NDD within two years, 47% (26/55) of which involved threat of legal action. Requests for continued support following NDD ranged from appeals for time for family to gather before ventilator removal to disagreement with the concept of NDD. Common responses to requests included: consultation with an additional physician (54%), consultation with spiritual services (41%), and delay of one to three days for NDD acceptance (49%). Respondents with prior experience were less likely to recommend ancillary tests (P = 0.004) or consultation with bioethics services (P = 0.004). Qualitative analysis revealed perceptions that requests for continued organ support were driven by mistrust, tensions surrounding decision-making, and cultural differences rather than a lack of specific information about NDD.

Conclusions: Family requests for continued somatic support following NDD were encountered by half our sample of Canadian critical care physicians. Mitigation strategies require attention to the multifaceted social contexts surrounding these complex scenarios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12630-020-01852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7654566PMC
March 2021

Treatment with Zinc is Associated with Reduced In-Hospital Mortality Among COVID-19 Patients: A Multi-Center Cohort Study.

Res Sq 2020 Oct 26. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Zinc impairs replication of RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-1, and may be effective against SARS-CoV-2. However, to achieve adequate intracellular zinc levels, administration with an ionophore, which increases intracellular zinc levels, may be necessary. We evaluated the impact of zinc with an ionophore (Zn+ionophore) on COVID-19 in-hospital mortality rates. A multicenter cohort study was conducted of 3,473 adult hospitalized patients with reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) positive SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to four New York City hospitals between March 10 through May 20, 2020. Exclusion criteria were: death or discharge within 24h, comfort-care status, clinical trial enrollment, treatment with an IL-6 inhibitor or remdesivir. Patients who received Zn+ionophore were compared to patients who did not using multivariable time-dependent cox proportional hazards models for time to in-hospital death adjusting for confounders including age, sex, race, BMI, diabetes, week of admission, hospital location, sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score, intubation, acute renal failure, neurological events, treatment with corticosteroids, azithromycin or lopinavir/ritonavir and the propensity score of receiving Zn+ionophore. A sensitivity analysis was performed using a propensity score-matched cohort of patients who did or did not receive Zn+ionophore matched by age, sex and ventilator status. Among 3,473 patients (median age 64, 1947 [56%] male, 522 [15%] ventilated, 545[16%] died), 1,006 (29%) received Zn+ionophore. Zn+ionophore was associated with a 24% reduced risk of in-hospital mortality (12% of those who received Zn+ionophore died versus 17% who did not; adjusted Hazard Ratio [aHR] 0.76, 95% CI 0.60-0.96, P=0.023). More patients who received Zn+ionophore were discharged home (72% Zn+ionophore vs 67% no Zn+ionophore, P=0.003) Neither Zn nor the ionophore alone were associated with decreased mortality rates. Propensity score-matched sensitivity analysis (N=1356) validated these results (Zn+ionophore aHR for mortality 0.63, 95%CI 0.44-0.91, P=0.015). There were no significant interactions for Zn+ionophore with other COVID-19 specific medications. Zinc with an ionophore was associated with increased rates of discharge home and a 24% reduced risk of in-hospital mortality among COVID-19 patients, while neither zinc alone nor the ionophore alone reduced mortality. Further randomized trials are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-94509/v1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7605567PMC
October 2020

Ocular movements preclude brain death determination: Response to Fattal et al.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2020 12 3;29(12):105354. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Collamore 3, Suite 338, Boston, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105354DOI Listing
December 2020

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

Benefits of the Subdural Evacuating Port System (SEPS) Procedure Over Traditional Craniotomy for Subdural Hematoma Evacuation.

Neurohospitalist 2020 Oct 4;10(4):257-265. Epub 2020 May 4.

Department of Neurosurgery, NYU School of Medicine, NYU Langone Health, New York, NY, USA.

Background: There remains no consensus on the optimal primary intervention for subdural hematoma (SDH). Although historically favored, craniotomy carries substantial morbidity and incurs significant costs. Contrastingly, the subdural evacuating port system (SEPS) is a minimally invasive bedside procedure. We assessed the benefits of SEPS over traditional craniotomy for SDH evacuation.

Methods: A single-center retrospective cohort study of SDH patients receiving craniotomy or SEPS between 2012 and 2017 was performed. Information regarding demographics, medical history, presentation, surgical outcomes, cost, and complications was collected. Pre- and postoperative hematoma volumes were calculated using 3D image segmentation using Vitrea software. Multivariate regression models were employed to assess the influence of intervention choice.

Results: Of 107 patients, 68 underwent craniotomy and 39 underwent SEPS. There were no differences in age, sex, blood thinner use, platelet count, INR, hematoma lateralization, age, volume, or midline shift at presentation between intervention groups. Although there was no difference in percent residual hematoma volume 24-hour postintervention (44.1% vs 45.1%, = .894), SEPS was associated with lower hospitalization costs ($108 391 vs $166 318, * = .002), shorter length of stay (4.0 vs 5.8 days, * = .0002), and fewer postoperative seizures (2.6% vs 17.7%, * = .048). Reoperation rate was higher after SEPS overall (33.3% vs 13.2%, * = .048) but comparable to craniotomy in chronic SDH (12.50% vs 7.69%, = 1.000).

Conclusion: In this retrospective cohort, SEPS was noninferior to craniotomy at reducing SDH hematoma volume. The SEPS procedure was also associated with decreased length of stay hospitalization costs, and postoperative seizures and demonstrated a comparable recurrence rate to craniotomy for chronic SDH in particular.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1941874420920520DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495698PMC
October 2020

Delayed SARS-COV-2 leukoencephalopathy without Severe Hypoxia.

J Neurol Sci 2020 11 18;418:117146. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.117146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7500274PMC
November 2020

Risk factors for intracerebral hemorrhage in patients with COVID-19.

J Thromb Thrombolysis 2021 May 24;51(4):953-960. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Department of Neurology, New York University Langone Health, New York, NY, USA.

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) can be a devastating complication of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We aimed to assess risk factors associated with ICH in this population. We performed a retrospective cohort study of adult patients admitted to NYU Langone Health system between March 1 and April 27 2020 with a positive nasopharyngeal swab polymerase chain reaction test result and presence of primary nontraumatic intracranial hemorrhage or hemorrhagic conversion of ischemic stroke on neuroimaging. Patients with intracranial procedures, malignancy, or vascular malformation were excluded. We used regression models to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (OR, 95% CI) of the association between ICH and covariates. We also used regression models to determine association between ICH and mortality. Among 3824 patients admitted with COVID-19, 755 patients had neuroimaging and 416 patients were identified after exclusion criteria were applied. The mean (standard deviation) age was 69.3 (16.2), 35.8% were women, and 34.9% were on therapeutic anticoagulation. ICH occurred in 33 (7.9%) patients. Older age, non-Caucasian race, respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation, and therapeutic anticoagulation were associated with ICH on univariate analysis (p < 0.01 for each variable). In adjusted regression models, anticoagulation use was associated with a five-fold increased risk of ICH (OR 5.26, 95% CI 2.33-12.24, p < 0.001). ICH was associated with increased mortality (adjusted OR 2.6, 95 % CI 1.2-5.9). Anticoagulation use is associated with increased risk of ICH in patients with COVID-19. Further investigation is required to elucidate underlying mechanisms and prevention strategies in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11239-020-02288-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7511245PMC
May 2021

Post-COVID-19 inflammatory syndrome manifesting as refractory status epilepticus.

Epilepsia 2020 10 18;61(10):e135-e139. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Neurology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.

There have been multiple descriptions of seizures during the acute infectious period in patients with COVID-19. However, there have been no reports of status epilepticus after recovery from COVID-19 infection. Herein, we discuss a patient with refractory status epilepticus 6 weeks after initial infection with COVID-19. Extensive workup demonstrated elevated inflammatory markers, recurrence of a positive nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction, and hippocampal atrophy. Postinfectious inflammation may have triggered refractory status epilepticus in a manner similar to the multisystemic inflammatory syndrome observed in children after COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16683DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7537028PMC
October 2020

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic's Effect on Critical Care Resources and Health-Care Providers: A Global Survey.

Chest 2021 02 11;159(2):619-633. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Neurology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, WA; Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, University of Washington, WA; Cambia Health Foundation.

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has severely affected ICUs and critical care health-care providers (HCPs) worldwide.

Research Question: How do regional differences and perceived lack of ICU resources affect critical care resource use and the well-being of HCPs?

Study Design And Methods: Between April 23 and May 7, 2020, we electronically administered a 41-question survey to interdisciplinary HCPs caring for patients critically ill with COVID-19. The survey was distributed via critical care societies, research networks, personal contacts, and social media portals. Responses were tabulated according to World Bank region. We performed multivariate log-binomial regression to assess factors associated with three main outcomes: limiting mechanical ventilation (MV), changes in CPR practices, and emotional distress and burnout.

Results: We included 2,700 respondents from 77 countries, including physicians (41%), nurses (40%), respiratory therapists (11%), and advanced practice providers (8%). The reported lack of ICU nurses was higher than that of intensivists (32% vs 15%). Limiting MV for patients with COVID-19 was reported by 16% of respondents, was lowest in North America (10%), and was associated with reduced ventilator availability (absolute risk reduction [ARR], 2.10; 95% CI, 1.61-2.74). Overall, 66% of respondents reported changes in CPR practices. Emotional distress or burnout was high across regions (52%, highest in North America) and associated with being female (mechanical ventilation, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.01-1.33), being a nurse (ARR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.13-1.53), reporting a shortage of ICU nurses (ARR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.05-1.33), reporting a shortage of powered air-purifying respirators (ARR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.09-1.55), and experiencing poor communication from supervisors (ARR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.16-1.46).

Interpretation: Our findings demonstrate variability in ICU resource availability and use worldwide. The high prevalence of provider burnout and its association with reported insufficient resources and poor communication from supervisors suggest a need for targeted interventions to support HCPs on the front lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2020.09.070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7484703PMC
February 2021

Healthcare professionals' perceptions of critical care resource availability and factors associated with mental well-being during COVID-19: Results from a US survey.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Sep 2. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Department of Neurology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington.

Background: Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on intensive care unit (ICU) providers' perceptions of resource availability and evaluating factors associated with emotional distress/burnout can inform interventions to promote provider well-being.

Methods: Between April 23-May 7, 2020, we electronically administered a survey to physicians, nurses, respiratory therapist (RTs) and advanced practice providers (APPs) caring for COVID-19 patients in the US. We conducted multivariate regression to assess associations between concerns, reported lack of resources and three outcomes: emotional distress/burnout (primary outcome), and two secondary outcomes: 1) fear that hospital is unable to keep providers safe, and 2) concern about transmitting COVID-19 to family/community.

Results: We included 1,651 respondents from all 50 states; 47% nurses, 25% physicians, 17% RTs, 11% APPS. Shortages of intensivists and ICU nurses were reported by 12% and 28% of providers, respectively. The largest supply restrictions reported were for powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs); (56% reporting restricted availability). Provider concerns included worries about transmitting COVID-19 to family/community (66%), emotional distress/burnout (58%), and insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) (40%). After adjustment, emotional distress/burnout was significantly associated with insufficient PPE access (aRR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.32 - 1.55), stigma from community (aRR: 1.32, 95% CI: 1.24 - 1.41), and poor communication with supervisors (aRR:1.13, 95% CI: 1.06 - 1.21). Insufficient PPE access was the strongest predictor of feeling that the hospital is unable to keep providers safe and worries about transmitting infection to families/communities.

Conclusion: Addressing insufficient PPE access, poor communication from supervisors, and community stigma may improve provider mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1311DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7499503PMC
September 2020

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

Prevalence and Impact of Hyponatremia in Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 in New York City.

Crit Care Med 2020 12;48(12):e1211-e1217

Department of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY.

Objectives: Hyponatremia occurs in up to 30% of patients with pneumonia and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of hyponatremia associated with coronavirus disease 2019 and the impact on outcome is unknown. We aimed to identify the prevalence, predictors, and impact on outcome of mild, moderate, and severe admission hyponatremia compared with normonatremia among coronavirus disease 2019 patients.

Design: Retrospective, multicenter, observational cohort study.

Setting: Four New York City hospitals that are part of the same health network.

Patients: Hospitalized, laboratory-confirmed adult coronavirus disease 2019 patients admitted between March 1, 2020, and May 13, 2020.

Interventions: None.

Measurements And Main Results: Hyponatremia was categorized as mild (sodium: 130-134 mmol/L), moderate (sodium: 121-129 mmol/L), or severe (sodium: ≤ 120 mmol/L) versus normonatremia (135-145 mmol/L). The primary outcome was the association of increasing severity of hyponatremia and in-hospital mortality assessed using multivariable logistic regression analysis. Secondary outcomes included encephalopathy, acute renal failure, mechanical ventilation, and discharge home compared across sodium levels using Kruskal-Wallis and chi-square tests. In exploratory analysis, the association of sodium levels and interleukin-6 levels (which has been linked to nonosmotic release of vasopressin) was assessed. Among 4,645 patient encounters, hyponatremia (sodium < 135 mmol/L) occurred in 1,373 (30%) and 374 of 1,373 (27%) required invasive mechanical ventilation. Mild, moderate, and severe hyponatremia occurred in 1,032 (22%), 305 (7%), and 36 (1%) patients, respectively. Each level of worsening hyponatremia conferred 43% increased odds of in-hospital death after adjusting for age, gender, race, body mass index, past medical history, admission laboratory abnormalities, admission Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, renal failure, encephalopathy, and mechanical ventilation (adjusted odds ratio, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.08-1.88; p = 0.012). Increasing severity of hyponatremia was associated with encephalopathy, mechanical ventilation, and decreased probability of discharge home (all p < 0.001). Higher interleukin-6 levels correlated with lower sodium levels (p = 0.017).

Conclusions: Hyponatremia occurred in nearly a third of coronavirus disease 2019 patients, was an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality, and was associated with increased risk of encephalopathy and mechanical ventilation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000004605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7467047PMC
December 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

Training in Neurology: Identifying and addressing struggling colleagues in the era of physician burnout.

Neurology 2020 10 11;95(17):796-799. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

From the Departments of Neurology (R.S.S., A.L., A.N., A.M.K.), Neurosurgery (A.L.), and Medicine (S.Z.), New York University School of Medicine, NY.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010601DOI Listing
October 2020

Pearls & Oy-sters: Leukoencephalopathy in critically ill patients with COVID-19.

Neurology 2020 10 11;95(16):753-757. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

From the Departments of Neurology (H.H., H.E., M.C., E.V., I.K., L.K., H.W., S.G., J.F., T.Z., D.E.K., A. Lord, A. Lewis) and Neurosurgery (J.F., T.Z., D.E.K., A. Lord, A. Lewis), NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010636DOI Listing
October 2020

Determination of Brain Death/Death by Neurologic Criteria: The World Brain Death Project.

JAMA 2020 Sep;324(11):1078-1097

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Australia.

Importance: There are inconsistencies in concept, criteria, practice, and documentation of brain death/death by neurologic criteria (BD/DNC) both internationally and within countries.

Objective: To formulate a consensus statement of recommendations on determination of BD/DNC based on review of the literature and expert opinion of a large multidisciplinary, international panel.

Process: Relevant international professional societies were recruited to develop recommendations regarding determination of BD/DNC. Literature searches of the Cochrane, Embase, and MEDLINE databases included January 1, 1992, through April 2020 identified pertinent articles for review. Because of the lack of high-quality data from randomized clinical trials or large observational studies, recommendations were formulated based on consensus of contributors and medical societies that represented relevant disciplines, including critical care, neurology, and neurosurgery.

Evidence Synthesis: Based on review of the literature and consensus from a large multidisciplinary, international panel, minimum clinical criteria needed to determine BD/DNC in various circumstances were developed.

Recommendations: Prior to evaluating a patient for BD/DNC, the patient should have an established neurologic diagnosis that can lead to the complete and irreversible loss of all brain function, and conditions that may confound the clinical examination and diseases that may mimic BD/DNC should be excluded. Determination of BD/DNC can be done with a clinical examination that demonstrates coma, brainstem areflexia, and apnea. This is seen when (1) there is no evidence of arousal or awareness to maximal external stimulation, including noxious visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation; (2) pupils are fixed in a midsize or dilated position and are nonreactive to light; (3) corneal, oculocephalic, and oculovestibular reflexes are absent; (4) there is no facial movement to noxious stimulation; (5) the gag reflex is absent to bilateral posterior pharyngeal stimulation; (6) the cough reflex is absent to deep tracheal suctioning; (7) there is no brain-mediated motor response to noxious stimulation of the limbs; and (8) spontaneous respirations are not observed when apnea test targets reach pH <7.30 and Paco2 ≥60 mm Hg. If the clinical examination cannot be completed, ancillary testing may be considered with blood flow studies or electrophysiologic testing. Special consideration is needed for children, for persons receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and for those receiving therapeutic hypothermia, as well as for factors such as religious, societal, and cultural perspectives; legal requirements; and resource availability.

Conclusions And Relevance: This report provides recommendations for the minimum clinical standards for determination of brain death/death by neurologic criteria in adults and children with clear guidance for various clinical circumstances. The recommendations have widespread international society endorsement and can serve to guide professional societies and countries in the revision or development of protocols and procedures for determination of brain death/death by neurologic criteria, leading to greater consistency within and between countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.11586DOI Listing
September 2020