COVID-19 Review Volume 12, Issue 11 pp 10022—10034
Potential mechanisms of hemorrhagic stroke in elderly COVID-19 patients
- 1 Department of Neurology, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225000, Jiangsu, China
- 2 Department of Neurology, Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou, Dalian Medical University, Yangzhou 225000, Jiangsu, China
Received: March 11, 2020 Accepted: May 14, 2020 Published: June 11, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.103335
How to Cite
Copyright © 2020 Wang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019, a new human infectious disease. While fever, cough, and respiratory distress are typical first symptoms, a fraction of those affected present instead with neurological symptoms suggestive of central nervous system compromise. This review summarizes the potential contribution of coronavirus disease 2019 to hemorrhagic stroke in the elderly and proposes possible mechanisms. Reports show that the most affected patients have underlying chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, which are two key risk factors for hemorrhagic stroke. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is the main host cell surface receptor interacting with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike glycoprotein to allow viral entry and infection. We speculate that ensuing downregulation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expression may compound the risk conferred by pre-existing comorbidities and critically influence the pathogenesis of hemorrhagic stroke by elevating blood pressure and impairing cerebrovascular endothelial function. Additionally, both age- and/or disease-related immune dysfunction and enhanced catecholamine release secondary to anxiety and stress may also aggravate central nervous system symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Thus, assessment of systemic inflammatory biomarkers and tight control of hemodynamic parameters upon admission are crucial to minimize mortality and morbidity in coronavirus disease 2019 patients with central nervous system symptoms suggestive of incipient stroke.