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Levetiracetam for Seizure Prophylaxis in Neurocritical Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Fang, Taolin; Valdes, Eduard; Frontera, Jennifer A
BACKGROUND:Levetiracetam is commonly used for seizure prophylaxis in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), traumatic brain injury (TBI), supratentorial neurosurgery, and spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). However, its efficacy, optimal dosing, and the adverse events associated with levetiracetam prophylaxis remain unclear. METHODS:A systematic search of PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane central register of controlled trials (CENTRAL) database was conducted from January 1, 2000, to October 30, 2020, including articles addressing treatment with levetiracetam for seizure prophylaxis after SAH, ICH, TBI, and supratentorial neurosurgery. Non-English, pediatric (aged < 18 years), preclinical, reviews, case reports, and articles that included patients with a preexisting seizure condition or epilepsy were excluded. The coprimary meta-analyses examined first seizure events in (1) levetiracetam versus no antiseizure medication and (2) levetiracetam versus other antiseizure medications in all ICH, TBI, SAH, and supratentorial neurosurgery populations. Secondary meta-analyses evaluated the same comparator groups in individual disease populations. Risk of bias in non-randomised studies - of interventions (ROBINS-I) and risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials (RoB-2) tools were used to assess risk of bias. RESULTS: = 39%, P = 0.13 for heterogeneity). There were no significant differences in meta-analyses of patients with ICH, SAH, or TBI. Adverse events of any severity were reported in a median of 8% of patients given levetiracetam compared with 21% of patients in comparator groups. CONCLUSIONS:Based on the current moderately to seriously biased heterogeneous data, which frequently used low and possibly subtherapeutic doses of levetiracetam, our meta-analyses did not demonstrate significant reductions in seizure incidence and neither supports nor refutes the use of levetiracetam prophylaxis in TBI, SAH, or ICH. Levetiracetam may be preferred post supratentorial neurosurgery. More high-quality randomized trials of prophylactic levetiracetam are warranted.
PMID: 34286461
ISSN: 1556-0961
CID: 4951162

COVID-19 and ischemic stroke

Sagris, Dimitrios; Papanikolaou, Aikaterini; Kvernland, Alexandra; Korompoki, Eleni; Frontera, Jennifer A; Troxel, Andrea B; Gavriatopoulou, Maria; Milionis, Haralampos; Lip, Gregory Y H; Michel, Patrik; Yaghi, Shadi; Ntaios, George
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a substantial proportion of COVID-19 patients had documented thrombotic complications and ischemic stroke. Several mechanisms related to immune mediated thrombosis, the renin angiotensin system, and the effect of SARS-CoV-2 in cardiac and brain tissue may contribute to the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke in patients with COVID-19. Simultaneously, significant strains on global healthcare delivery, including ischemic stroke management, have made treatment of stroke in the setting of COVID-19 particularly challenging. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on epidemiology, clinical manifestation and pathophysiology of ischemic stroke in patients with COVID-19 to bridge the gap from bench to bedside and clinical practice during the most challenging global health crisis of the last decades.
PMID: 34224187
ISSN: 1468-1331
CID: 4932952

The author replies

Frontera, Jennifer A
PMID: 33883457
ISSN: 1530-0293
CID: 4924072

Cerebrospinal fluid from COVID-19 patients with olfactory/gustatory dysfunction: A review

Lewis, Ariane; Frontera, Jennifer; Placantonakis, Dimitris G; Galetta, Steven; Balcer, Laura; Melmed, Kara R
OBJECTIVE:We reviewed the literature on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) testing in patients with altered olfactory/gustatory function due to COVID-19 for evidence of viral neuroinvasion. METHODS:We performed a systematic review of Medline and Embase to identify publications that described at least one patient with COVID-19 who had altered olfactory/gustatory function and had CSF testing performed. The search ranged from December 1, 2019 to November 18, 2020. RESULTS:We identified 51 publications that described 70 patients who met inclusion criteria. Of 51 patients who had CSF SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, 3 (6%) patients had positive results and 1 (2%) patient had indeterminate results. Cycle threshold (Ct; the number of amplification cycles required for the target gene to exceed the threshold, which is inversely related to viral load) was not provided for the patients with a positive PCR. The patient with indeterminate results had a Ct of 37 initially, then no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on repeat testing. Of 6 patients who had CSF SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing, 3 (50%) were positive. Testing to distinguish intrathecal antibody synthesis from transudation of antibodies to the CSF via breakdown of the blood-brain barrier was performed in 1/3 (33%) patients; this demonstrated antibody transmission to the CSF via transudation. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in CSF via PCR or evaluation for intrathecal antibody synthesis appears to be rare in patients with altered olfactory/gustatory function. While pathology studies are needed, our review suggests it is unlikely that these symptoms are related to viral neuroinvasion.
PMCID:8196517
PMID: 34146842
ISSN: 1872-6968
CID: 4936832

COVID-19 associated brain/spinal cord lesions and leptomeningeal enhancement: A meta-analysis of the relationship to CSF SARS-CoV-2

Lewis, Ariane; Jain, Rajan; Frontera, Jennifer; Placantonakis, Dimitris G; Galetta, Steven; Balcer, Laura; Melmed, Kara R
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:We reviewed the literature to evaluate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) results from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had neurological symptoms and had an MRI that showed (1) central nervous system (CNS) hyperintense lesions not attributed to ischemia and/or (2) leptomeningeal enhancement. We sought to determine if these findings were associated with a positive CSF severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR). METHODS:We performed a systematic review of Medline and Embase from December 1, 2019 to November 18, 2020. CSF results were evaluated based on the presence/absence of (1) ≥ 1 CNS hyperintense lesion and (2) leptomeningeal enhancement. RESULTS:In 117 publications, we identified 193 patients with COVID-19 who had an MRI of the CNS and CSF testing. There were 125 (65%) patients with CNS hyperintense lesions. Patients with CNS hyperintense lesions were significantly more likely to have a positive CSF SARS-CoV-2 PCR (10% [9/87] vs. 0% [0/43], p = 0.029). Of 75 patients who had a contrast MRI, there were 20 (27%) patients who had leptomeningeal enhancement. Patients with leptomeningeal enhancement were significantly more likely to have a positive CSF SARS-CoV-2 PCR (25% [4/16] vs. 5% [2/42], p = 0.024). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The presence of CNS hyperintense lesions or leptomeningeal enhancement on neuroimaging from patients with COVID-19 is associated with increased likelihood of a positive CSF SARS-CoV-2 PCR. However, a positive CSF SARS-CoV-2 PCR is uncommon in patients with these neuroimaging findings, suggesting they are often related to other etiologies, such as inflammation, hypoxia, or ischemia.
PMID: 34105198
ISSN: 1552-6569
CID: 4900822

Neurologic aspects of coronavirus disease of 2019 infection

Hassett, Catherine E; Frontera, Jennifer A
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:Central and peripheral nervous system manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been frequently reported and may cause significant morbidity and mortality. This review details the latest evidence on the neuropathogenesis and neurologic complications of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. RECENT FINDINGS:Commonly reported neurologic complications include toxic-metabolic encephalopathy, acute cerebrovascular disorders, seizures, and anoxic-brain injury. These complications represent secondary injury due to COVID-19 related hypoxia, sepsis, hypercoagulability, or hyperinflammation. Postinfectious complications, such as encephalitis, postinfectious demyelination, and Guillain-Barré syndrome have been reported, but are rare. Recent reports of persistent neurocognitive symptoms highlight the possibility of lasting impairment. SUMMARY:Although some neurologic complications should be treated with standard practices, further investigations are still needed to determine the optimal treatment of COVID-related neurologic complications, such as ischemic stroke. Entering into the next phase of the pandemic, investigations into the long-term neurologic and cognitive impacts of SARS-CoV-2 infection will be needed. Clinicians must have a high clinical suspicion for both acute and chronic neurologic complications among COVID-19 patients.
PMID: 33769966
ISSN: 1473-6527
CID: 4858302

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

Kvernland, Alexandra; Kumar, Arooshi; Yaghi, Shadi; Raz, Eytan; Frontera, Jennifer; Lewis, Ariane; Czeisler, Barry; Kahn, D Ethan; Zhou, Ting; Ishida, Koto; Torres, Jose; Riina, Howard A; Shapiro, Maksim; Nossek, Erez; Nelson, Peter K; Tanweer, Omar; Gordon, David; Jain, Rajan; Dehkharghani, Seena; Henninger, Nils; de Havenon, Adam; Grory, Brian Mac; Lord, Aaron; Melmed, Kara
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: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/CONCLUSIONS: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.
PMCID:7444897
PMID: 32839867
ISSN: 1556-0961
CID: 4574182

Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome is Associated with Hematoma Expansion in Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Melmed, Kara R; Carroll, Elizabeth; Lord, Aaron S; Boehme, Amelia K; Ishida, Koto; Zhang, Cen; Torres, Jose L; Yaghi, Shadi; Czeisler, Barry M; Frontera, Jennifer A; Lewis, Ariane
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and hematoma expansion are independently associated with worse outcomes after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), but the relationship between SIRS and hematoma expansion remains unclear. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:We performed a retrospective review of patients admitted to our hospital from 2013 to 2020 with primary spontaneous ICH with at least two head CTs within the first 24 hours. The relationship between SIRS and hematoma expansion, defined as ≥6 mL or ≥33% growth between the first and second scan, was assessed using univariable and multivariable regression analysis. We assessed the relationship of hematoma expansion and SIRS on discharge mRS using mediation analysis. RESULTS:Of 149 patients with ICH, 83 (56%; mean age 67±16; 41% female) met inclusion criteria. Of those, 44 (53%) had SIRS. Admission systolic blood pressure (SBP), temperature, antiplatelet use, platelet count, initial hematoma volume and rates of infection did not differ between groups (all p>0.05). Hematoma expansion occurred in 15/83 (18%) patients, 12 (80%) of whom also had SIRS. SIRS was significantly associated with hematoma expansion (OR 4.5, 95% CI 1.16 - 17.39, p= 0.02) on univariable analysis. The association remained statistically significant after adjusting for admission SBP and initial hematoma volume (OR 5.72, 95% CI 1.40 - 23.41, p= 0.02). There was a significant indirect effect of SIRS on discharge mRS through hematoma expansion. A significantly greater percentage of patients with SIRS had mRS 4-6 at discharge (59 vs 33%, p=0.02). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:SIRS is associated with hematoma expansion of ICH within the first 24 hours, and hematoma expansion mediates the effect of SIRS on poor outcome.
PMID: 34077823
ISSN: 1532-8511
CID: 4891632

Cerebrospinal fluid findings in patients with seizure in the setting of COVID-19: A review of the literature

Carroll, Elizabeth; Melmed, Kara R; Frontera, Jennifer; Placantonakis, Dimitris G; Galetta, Steven; Balcer, Laura; Lewis, Ariane
We reviewed the literature on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) studies in patients who had a seizure in the setting of COVID-19 infection to evaluate for evidence of viral neuroinvasion. We performed a systematic review of Medline and Embase to identify publications that reported one or more patients with COVID-19 who had a seizure and had CSF testing preformed. The search ranged from December 1st 2019 to November 18th 2020. We identified 56 publications which described 69 unique patients who met our inclusion criteria. Of the 54 patients whose past medical history was provided, 2 (4%) had epilepsy and 1 (2%) had a prior seizure in the setting of hyperglycemia, but the remaining 51 (94%) had no history of seizures. Seizure was the initial symptom of COVID-19 for 15 (22%) patients. There were 26 (40%) patients who developed status epilepticus. SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing was performed in the CSF for 45 patients; 6 (13%) had a positive CSF SARS-CoV-2 PCR, only 1 (17%) of whom had status epilepticus. The cycle thresholds were not reported. Evaluation for CSF SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (directly or indirectly, via testing for CSF oligoclonal bands or immunoglobulins) was performed in 26 patients, only 2 (8%) of whom had evidence of intrathecal antibody synthesis. Of the 11 patients who had CSF autoimmune antibody panels tested, 1 had NMDA antibodies and 1 had Caspr-2 antibodies. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the CSF of patients with seizures who have COVID-19 is uncommon. Our review suggests that seizures in this patient population are not likely due to direct viral invasion of the brain.
PMCID:8127527
PMID: 34044299
ISSN: 1532-2688
CID: 4903862

A prospective study of long-term outcomes among hospitalized COVID-19 patients with and without neurological complications

Frontera, Jennifer A; Yang, Dixon; Lewis, Ariane; Patel, Palak; Medicherla, Chaitanya; Arena, Vito; Fang, Taolin; Andino, Andres; Snyder, Thomas; Madhavan, Maya; Gratch, Daniel; Fuchs, Benjamin; Dessy, Alexa; Canizares, Melanie; Jauregui, Ruben; Thomas, Betsy; Bauman, Kristie; Olivera, Anlys; Bhagat, Dhristie; Sonson, Michael; Park, George; Stainman, Rebecca; Sunwoo, Brian; Talmasov, Daniel; Tamimi, Michael; Zhu, Yingrong; Rosenthal, Jonathan; Dygert, Levi; Ristic, Milan; Ishii, Haruki; Valdes, Eduard; Omari, Mirza; Gurin, Lindsey; Huang, Joshua; Czeisler, Barry M; Kahn, D Ethan; Zhou, Ting; Lin, Jessica; Lord, Aaron S; Melmed, Kara; Meropol, Sharon; Troxel, Andrea B; Petkova, Eva; Wisniewski, Thomas; Balcer, Laura; Morrison, Chris; Yaghi, Shadi; Galetta, Steven
BACKGROUND:Little is known regarding long-term outcomes of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. METHODS:We conducted a prospective study of 6-month outcomes of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Patients with new neurological complications during hospitalization who survived were propensity score-matched to COVID-19 survivors without neurological complications hospitalized during the same period. The primary 6-month outcome was multivariable ordinal analysis of the modified Rankin Scale(mRS) comparing patients with or without neurological complications. Secondary outcomes included: activities of daily living (ADLs;Barthel Index), telephone Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Neuro-QoL batteries for anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep. RESULTS:Of 606 COVID-19 patients with neurological complications, 395 survived hospitalization and were matched to 395 controls; N = 196 neurological patients and N = 186 controls completed follow-up. Overall, 346/382 (91%) patients had at least one abnormal outcome: 56% had limited ADLs, 50% impaired cognition, 47% could not return to work and 62% scored worse than average on ≥1 Neuro-QoL scale (worse anxiety 46%, sleep 38%, fatigue 36%, and depression 25%). In multivariable analysis, patients with neurological complications had worse 6-month mRS (median 4 vs. 3 among controls, adjusted OR 1.98, 95%CI 1.23-3.48, P = 0.02), worse ADLs (aOR 0.38, 95%CI 0.29-0.74, P = 0.01) and were less likely to return to work than controls (41% versus 64%, P = 0.04). Cognitive and Neuro-QOL metrics were similar between groups. CONCLUSIONS:Abnormalities in functional outcomes, ADLs, anxiety, depression and sleep occurred in over 90% of patients 6-months after hospitalization for COVID-19. In multivariable analysis, patients with neurological complications during index hospitalization had significantly worse 6-month functional outcomes than those without.
PMCID:8113108
PMID: 34000678
ISSN: 1878-5883
CID: 4876752