Endotheliitis and cytokine storm as a mechanism of clot formation in COVID-19 ischemic stroke patients: A histopathologic study of retrieved clots.

Brinjikji W, Kallmes DF, Virmani R, de Meyer SF, Yoo AJ, Humphries W, Zaidat OO, Teleb MS, Jones JG, Siddiqui AH, Andersson T, Nogueira RG, Gil SM, Douglas A, Rossi R, Rentzos A, Ceder E, Carlqvist J, Dunker D, Jood K, Tatlisumak T, Doyle KM

Interv Neuroradiol - (-) 15910199231185804 [2023-09-28; online 2023-09-28]

Studies during the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated an association between COVID-19 virus infection and the development of acute ischemic stroke, particularly large vessel occlusion (LVO). Studying the characteristics and immunohistochemistry of retrieved stroke emboli during mechanical thrombectomy for LVO may offer insights into the pathogenesis of LVO in COVID-19 patients. We examined retrieved COVID-19 emboli from the STRIP, EXCELLENT, and RESTORE registries and compared their characteristics to a control group. We identified COVID-positive LVO patients from the STRIP, RESTORE, and EXCELLENT studies who underwent mechanical thrombectomy. These patients were matched to a control group controlling for stroke etiology based on Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment criteria. All clots were stained with Martius Scarlet Blue (MSB) along with immunohistochemistry for interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), von Willebrand factor (vWF), CD66b, fibrinogen, and citrullinated Histone H3. Clot composition was compared between groups. Nineteen COVID-19-positive patients and 38 controls were included. COVID-19-positive patients had a significantly higher percentage of CRP and vWF. There was no difference in IL-6, fibrin, CD66b, or citrullinated Histone H3 between groups. Based on MSB staining, there was no statistically significant difference regarding the percentage of red blood cells, white blood cells, fibrin, and platelets. Our study found higher concentrations of CRP and vWF in retrieved clots of COVID-19-positive stroke patients compared to COVID-19-negative controls. These findings support the potential role of systemic inflammation as indicated by elevated CRP and endothelial injury as indicated by elevated vWF as precipitating factors in thrombus development in these patients.

Category: Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37769315

DOI 10.1177/15910199231185804

Crossref 10.1177/15910199231185804

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