Due to pro-inflammatory and hypercoagulation states, COVID-19 infection is believed to increase the risk of stroke and worsen the outcomes of the patients having pre-existing cerebrovascular diseases (CeVD). There is limited literature on prevalence of pre-existing CeVD in COVID-19 patients, and outcomes are unknown. The objective of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the outcomes of COVID-19 patients with pre-existing CeVD.
English full-text-observational studies having data on epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 patients were identified searching PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus using MeSH-terms COVID-19 OR coronavirus OR SARS-CoV-2 OR 2019-nCoV from December 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020. Studies having CeVD or stroke as one of the pre-existing comorbidities and described outcomes including intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation utilization, and mortality were selected with consensus of three reviewers. Following MOOSE protocol, 11 studies were included. The pooled prevalence of CeVD and outcomes were calculated. Meta-regression was performed, and correlation coefficient (r) and odds ratio (OR) were estimated to evaluate the effects of pre-existing CeVD on outcomes of COVID-19 patients. Meta-analysis with random-effects model was used to calculate OR along with its 95% CI from the studies containing data on composite poor outcome.
Out of 8/11 studies showing data on mortality and mechanical ventilation, and 7/11 on ICU admission, pooled prevalence of pre-existing CeVD was 4.4% (244/4987). In age-adjusted meta-regression analysis, pre-existing CeVD was associated with ICU admission [r: 0.60; OR: 1.82 (1.25–2.69)], mechanical ventilation [r: 0.29; OR: 1.33 (1.09–1.63)], and mortality [r: 0.35; OR: 1.42 (1.14–1.77)] amongst COVID-19 hospitalizations. 9/11 studies reported data on binary composite outcomes, the pooled prevalence of pre-existing CeVD was 4.3% (155/3603) and 7.46% (83/1113) amongst COVID-19 hospitalizations and COVID-19 hospitalization-related poor outcomes, respectively. In meta-analysis, COVID-19 patient with pre-existing CeVD had 2.67-fold (1.75–4.06) higher odds of poor outcomes.
COVID-19 patients with pre-existing cerebrovascular disease have poor outcomes and extra precautions should be taken in managing such patients during the ongoing pandemic.