There are increasing reports of various types of stroke including ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke, as well as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) after COVID-19 vaccination. This paper aims to review reports of stroke associated with COVID-19 vaccines and provide a coherent clinical picture of this condition.


Most of such patients are women under 60 years of age and who had received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. Most studies reported CVST with or without secondary ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, and some with Vaccine-induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT). The most common clinical symptom of CVST seen after COVID-19 vaccination was headache. The clinical course of CVST after COVID-19 vaccination may be more severe than CVST not associated with COVID vaccination. Management of CVST following COVID-19 vaccination is challenging and may differ from the standard treatment of CVST. Low molecular weight heparin is commonly used in the treatment of CVST; however, it may worsen outcomes in CVST associated with VITT. Furthermore, administration of intravenous immunoglobulin and high-dose glucocorticoids have been recommended with various success rates.


Many recent studies reported the occurrence of stroke after administration of COVID-19 vaccination. All forms of stroke including ischemic, ICH, and CVST have been encountered. Most of the evidence pertaining to stroke following COVID-19 vaccination are case reports, therefore, the incidence of stroke after COVID-19 vaccination is not precisely known. Most patients who suffered from stroke after COVID-19 vaccination were women, under 60 years of age, and after the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.

Clinicians should be aware of the possible stroke after COVID-19 vaccination to ensure rapid diagnosis and treatment. CVST is an important phenomenon that may occur after COVID-19 vaccination and is mostly associated with VITT. The diagnosis of VITT-associated stroke should be made with high suspicion because of its rapid and diverse clinical manifestations. Stroke should be considered when a patient develops any neurological complaints, especially constant headaches, within 4 weeks of COVID-19 vaccination. These patients should urgently be evaluated for possible VITT with laboratory tests such as platelet count, D-dimer, anti-PF4 antibody, fibrinogen level, and brain imaging, especially cerebral venography. Concurrent thrombosis including DVT, PTE, and splanchnic venous thrombosis should be ruled out in patients who suffered from VITT-associated CVST. Furthermore, other differential diagnoses including APS, DIC, ITP, thrombotic-thrombocytopenic purpura, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, and underlying malignant diseases should be taken into account. Notably, the latest guidelines should be considered for VITT management; however, clinicians should eventually act according to the specific condition of each patient. Since the management of VITT is challenging, they should be managed by a multidisciplinary team from different disciplines including hematology, neurology, stroke, neurosurgery, and neuroradiology

Source – https://www.h.org/article/S1052-3057(22)00131-8/fulltext