Purpose:

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is an uncommon but deadly event in patients with COVID-19 and its imaging features remain poorly characterized. We aimed to describe the clinical and imaging features of COVID-19-associated ICH.


Methods:

Multicenter, retrospective, case-control analysis comparing ICH in COVID-19 patients (COV19 +) versus controls without COVID-19 (COV19 -). Clinical presentation, laboratory markers, and severity of COVID-19 disease were recorded. Non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) markers (intrahematoma hypodensity, heterogeneous density, blend sign, irregular shape fluid level), ICH location, and hematoma volume (ABC/2 method) were analyzed. The outcome of interest was ultraearly hematoma growth (uHG) (defined as NCCT baseline ICH volume/onset-to-imaging time), whose predictors were explored with multivariable linear regression.


Results:

A total of 33 COV19 + patients and 321 COV19 – controls with ICH were included. Demographic characteristics and vascular risk factors were similar in the two groups. Multifocal ICH and NCCT markers were significantly more common in the COV19 + population. uHG was significantly higher among COV19 + patients (median 6.2 mL/h vs 3.1 mL/h, p = 0.027), and this finding remained significant after adjustment for confounding factors (systolic blood pressure, antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy), in linear regression (B(SE) = 0.31 (0.11), p = 0.005). This association remained consistent also after the exclusion of patients under anticoagulant treatment (B(SE) = 0.29 (0.13), p = 0.026).


Conclusions:

ICH in COV19 + patients has distinct NCCT imaging features and a higher speed of bleeding. This association is not mediated by antithrombotic therapy and deserves further research to characterize the underlying biological mechanisms.


Keywords:

COVID-19; Intracerebral hemorrhage; SARS-CoV-2; Stroke.

Source