Intraluminal carotid thrombosis and acute ischemic stroke associated with COVID-19.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has a diverse constellation of neurological manifestations that include encephalopathy, stroke, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myelitis, and encephalitis. Intraluminal carotid thrombi (ILT) are infrequent lesions seen in only 1.6% of patients with acute ischemic stroke. Underlying atherosclerosis is the most common lesion associated with ILT formation. However, with COVID-19, we have encountered ILT in patients without significant atherosclerotic disease. The endothelial inflammation and hypercoagulable state associated with COVID-19 pose a risk of arterial and venous thromboembolism and could have contributed to this presentation although the exact pathophysiology and optimal treatment of ILT in COVID-19 remain elusive. Herein, we present a series of ischemic stroke patients with carotid ILT in the setting of a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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Authors: Diaa Hamouda, Dinesh V Jillella, Nirav Bhatt, Sitara Koneru, Michael R Frankel, Raul G Nogueira