Global Impact of COVID-19 on Stroke Care and IV Thrombolysis Article

Nogueira, RG, Qureshi, MM, Abdalkader, M et al. (2021). Global Impact of COVID-19 on Stroke Care and IV Thrombolysis . NEUROLOGY, 96(23), E2824-E2838. 10.1212/WNL.0000000000011885

cited authors

  • Nogueira, RG; Qureshi, MM; Abdalkader, M; Martins, SO; Yamagami, H; Qiu, Z; Mansour, OY; Sathya, A; Czlonkowska, A; Tsivgoulis, G; De Sousa, DA; Demeestere, J; Mikulik, R; Vanacker, P; Siegler, JE; Kõrv, J; Biller, J; Liang, CW; Sangha, NS; Zha, AM; Czap, AL; Holmstedt, CA; Turan, TN; Ntaios, G; Malhotra, K; Tayal, A; Loochtan, A; Ranta, A; Mistry, EA; Alexandrov, AW; Huang, DY; Yaghi, S; Raz, E; Sheth, SA; Mohammaden, MH; Frankel, M; Bila Lamou, EG; Aref, HM; Elbassiouny, A; Hassan, F; Menecie, T; Mustafa, W; Shokri, HM; Roushdy, T; Sarfo, FS; Alabi, TO; Arabambi, B; Nwazor, EO; Sunmonu, TA; Wahab, K; Yaria, J; Mohammed, HH; Adebayo, PB; Riahi, AD; Sassi, SB; Gwaunza, L; Ngwende, GW; Sahakyan, D; Rahman, A; Ai, Z; Bai, F; Duan, Z; Hao, Y; Huang, W; Li, G; Li, W; Liu, G; Luo, J; Shang, X; Sui, Y; Tian, L; Wen, H; Wu, B; Yan, Y; Yuan, Z; Zhang, H; Zhang, J; Zhao, W; Zi, W; Leung, TW; Chugh, C; Huded, V; Menon, B; Pandian, JD; Sylaja, PN; Usman, FS; Farhoudi, M; Hokmabadi, ES; Horev, A; Reznik, A; Hoffmann, RS; Ohara, N; Sakai, N; Watanabe, D; Yamamoto, R; Doijiri, R; Tokuda, N; Yamada, T; Terasaki, T; Yazawa, Y


  • Objective To measure the global impact of COVID-19 pandemic on volumes of IV thrombolysis (IVT), IVT transfers, and stroke hospitalizations over 4 months at the height of the pandemic (March 1 to June 30, 2020) compared with 2 control 4-month periods. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional, observational, retrospective study across 6 continents, 70 countries, and 457 stroke centers. Diagnoses were identified by their ICD-10 codes or classifications in stroke databases. Results There were 91,373 stroke admissions in the 4 months immediately before compared to 80,894 admissions during the pandemic months, representing an 11.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] −11.7 to −11.3, p < 0.0001) decline. There were 13,334 IVT therapies in the 4 months preceding compared to 11,570 procedures during the pandemic, representing a 13.2% (95% CI −13.8 to −12.7, p < 0.0001) drop. Interfacility IVT transfers decreased from 1,337 to 1,178, or an 11.9% decrease (95% CI −13.7 to −10.3, p = 0.001). Recovery of stroke hospitalization volume (9.5%, 95% CI 9.2–9.8, p < 0.0001) was noted over the 2 later (May, June) vs the 2 earlier (March, April) pandemic months. There was a 1.48% stroke rate across 119,967 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection was noted in 3.3% (1,722/52,026) of all stroke admissions. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a global decline in the volume of stroke hospitalizations, IVT, and interfacility IVT transfers. Primary stroke centers and centers with higher COVID-19 inpatient volumes experienced steeper declines. Recovery of stroke hospitalization was noted in the later pandemic months.

publication date

  • June 8, 2021

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • E2824

end page

  • E2838


  • 96


  • 23