Life stressors significantly impact long-term outcomes and post-acute symptoms 12-months after COVID-19 hospitalization
BACKGROUND:Limited data exists evaluating predictors of long-term outcomes after hospitalization for COVID-19. METHODS:We conducted a prospective, longitudinal cohort study of patients hospitalized for COVID-19. The following outcomes were collected at 6 and 12-months post-diagnosis: disability using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), activities of daily living assessed with the Barthel Index, cognition assessed with the telephone Montreal Cognitive Assessment (t-MoCA), Neuro-QoL batteries for anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep, and post-acute symptoms of COVID-19. Predictors of these outcomes, including demographics, pre-COVID-19 comorbidities, index COVID-19 hospitalization metrics, and life stressors, were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS:Of 790 COVID-19 patients who survived hospitalization, 451(57%) completed 6-month (N = 383) and/or 12-month (N = 242) follow-up, and 77/451 (17%) died between discharge and 12-month follow-up. Significant life stressors were reported in 121/239 (51%) at 12-months. In multivariable analyses, life stressors including financial insecurity, food insecurity, death of a close contact and new disability were the strongest independent predictors of worse mRS, Barthel Index, depression, fatigue, and sleep scores, and prolonged symptoms, with adjusted odds ratios ranging from 2.5 to 20.8. Other predictors of poor outcome included older age (associated with worse mRS, Barthel, t-MoCA, depression scores), baseline disability (associated with worse mRS, fatigue, Barthel scores), female sex (associated with worse Barthel, anxiety scores) and index COVID-19 severity (associated with worse Barthel index, prolonged symptoms). CONCLUSIONS:Life stressors contribute substantially to worse functional, cognitive and neuropsychiatric outcomes 12-months after COVID-19 hospitalization. Other predictors of poor outcome include older age, female sex, baseline disability and severity of index COVID-19.
Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 symptom phenotypes and therapeutic strategies: A prospective, observational study
BACKGROUND:Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) includes a heterogeneous group of patients with variable symptomatology, who may respond to different therapeutic interventions. Identifying phenotypes of PASC and therapeutic strategies for different subgroups would be a major step forward in management. METHODS:In a prospective cohort study of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 12-month symptoms and quantitative outcome metrics were collected. Unsupervised hierarchical cluster analyses were performed to identify patients with: (1) similar symptoms lasting â‰¥4 weeks after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, and (2) similar therapeutic interventions. Logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the association of these symptom and therapy clusters with quantitative 12-month outcome metrics (modified Rankin Scale, Barthel Index, NIH NeuroQoL). RESULTS:Among 242 patients, 122 (50%) reported â‰¥1 PASC symptom (median 3, IQR 1-5) lasting a median of 12-months (range 1-15) post-COVID diagnosis. Cluster analysis generated three symptom groups: Cluster1 had few symptoms (most commonly headache); Cluster2 had many symptoms including high levels of anxiety and depression; and Cluster3 primarily included shortness of breath, headache and cognitive symptoms. Cluster1 received few therapeutic interventions (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-5.9), Cluster2 received several interventions, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and psychological therapy (OR 15.7, 95% CI 4.1-59.7) and Cluster3 primarily received physical and occupational therapy (OR 3.1, 95%CI 1.3-7.1). The most severely affected patients (Symptom Cluster 2) had higher rates of disability (worse modified Rankin scores), worse NeuroQoL measures of anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep disorder, and a higher number of stressors (all P<0.05). 100% of those who received a treatment strategy that included psychiatric therapies reported symptom improvement, compared to 97% who received primarily physical/occupational therapy, and 83% who received few interventions (P = 0.042). CONCLUSIONS:We identified three clinically relevant PASC symptom-based phenotypes, which received different therapeutic interventions with varying response rates. These data may be helpful in tailoring individual treatment programs.
A Prospective Study of Neurologic Disorders in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients in New York City
OBJECTIVE:To determine the prevalence and associated mortality of well-defined neurologic diagnoses among COVID-19 patients, we prospectively followed hospitalized SARS-Cov-2 positive patients and recorded new neurologic disorders and hospital outcomes. METHODS:We conducted a prospective, multi-center, observational study of consecutive hospitalized adults in the NYC 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 COVID-19 patients with and without neurologic disorders. RESULTS:Of 4,491 COVID-19 patients 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 RT-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 P<0.05). After adjusting for age, sex, SOFA-scores, intubation, past history, medical complications, medications and comfort-care-status, COVID-19 patients with neurologic disorders had increased risk of in-hospital mortality (Hazard Ratio[HR] 1.38, 95% CI 1.17-1.62, P<0.001) and decreased likelihood of discharge home (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.63-0.85, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Neurologic disorders were detected in 13.5% of COVID-19 patients 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.
Training in neurology: Flexibility and adaptability of a neurology training program at the epicenter of COVID-19
OBJECTIVE:To outline changes made to a neurology residency program in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS:In early March 2020, the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in the United States. New York City quickly became the epicenter of a global pandemic, and our training program needed to rapidly adapt to the increasing number of inpatient cases while being mindful of protecting providers and continuing education. Many of these changes unfolded over days, including removing residents from outpatient services, minimizing the number of residents on inpatient services, deploying residents to medicine services and medical intensive care units, converting continuity clinic patient visits to virtual options, transforming didactics to online platforms only, and maintaining connectedness in an era of social distancing. We have been able to accomplish this through daily virtual meetings among leadership, faculty, and residents. RESULTS:Over time, our program has successfully rolled out initiatives to service the growing number of COVID-related inpatients while maintaining neurologic care for those in need and continuing our neurologic education curriculum. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:It has been necessary and feasible for our residency training program to undergo rapid structural changes to adapt to a medical crisis. The key ingredients in doing this successfully have been flexibility and teamwork. We suspect that many of the implemented changes will persist long after the COVID-19 crisis has passed and will change the approach to neurologic and medical training.
Treatment of Hypercoagulability-Induced New Neurovascular events using Enoxaparin vs DOACs (THINNED) [Meeting Abstract]
A Thoracentesis with a Neurological Surprise [Meeting Abstract]
20/40 or Better Visual Acuity After Optic Neuritis: Not as Good as We Once Thought?
BACKGROUND: Although patients with acute optic neuritis (ON) recover high-contrast visual acuity (HCVA) to 20/40 or better in 95% of affected eyes, patients with a history of ON continue to note subjective abnormalities of vision. Furthermore, substantial and permanent thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and the ganglion cell layer (GCL) is now known to occur early in the course of ON. We measured vision-specific quality of life (QOL) in patients with a history of acute ON and recovery of VA to 20/40 or better in their affected eyes to determine how these QOL scores relate to RNFL and GCL thickness and low-contrast letter acuity (LCLA) across the spectrum of visual recovery. METHODS: Data from an ongoing collaborative study of visual outcomes in multiple sclerosis and ON were analyzed for this cross-sectional observational cohort. Patients and disease-free control participants completed the 25-Item National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ-25) and 10-Item Neuro-Ophthalmic Supplement to the NEI-VFQ-25, as well as VA and LCLA testing for each eye separately and binocularly. Optical coherence tomography measures for each eye included peripapillary RNFL thickness and macular GCL + inner plexiform layer (GCL + IPL) thickness. RESULTS: Patients with a history of acute ON and recovery to 20/40 or better VA (n = 113) had significantly reduced scores for the NEI-VFQ-25 (83.7 +/- 15.4) and 10-Item Neuro-Ophthalmic Supplement (74.6 +/- 17.4) compared with disease-free controls (98.2 +/- 2.1 and 96.4 +/- 5.2, P < 0.001, linear regression models, accounting for age and within-patient, intereye correlations). Most patients with 20/40 or better visual recovery (98/112, 88%) had monocular HCVA in their affected eye of 20/20 or better. Although patients with 20/50 or worse HCVA recovery demonstrated the worst performance on low-contrast acuity, affected eye RNFL and GCL + IPL thickness, and QOL scales, these measures were also significantly reduced among those with 20/40 or better HCVA recovery compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a history of ON and "good" visual recovery, defined in the literature as 20/40 or better HCVA, are left with clinically meaningful reductions in vision-specific QOL. Such patient-observed deficits reflect the underlying significant degrees of retinal axonal and neuronal loss and visual dysfunction that are now known to characterize ON even in the setting of maximal HCVA recovery. There remains an unmet therapeutic need for patients with ON.