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NYMC Research Finds COVID-19 Patients at Higher Risk for Cerebral Venous Thrombosis

Research Shows Cerebral Venous Thrombosis (CVT) occurs at a higher frequency in COVID-19 patients

July 01, 2021
CVT brain scan showing clot occlusion
Research Shows Cerebral Venous Thrombosis (CVT) occurs at a higher frequency in COVID-19 patients

The study, Cerebral Venous Thrombosis in COVID-19: A New York Metropolitan Cohort Study,  was led by Fawaz Al-Mufti, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, neurosurgery and of radiology, and Chirag Gandhi, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and professor of neurosurgery, neurology and of radiology. Additional authors on the study, include Ramandeep Sahni, M.D., clinical associate professor of neurology; Jonathan Ogulnick, SOM Class of 2022; Philip J. Overby, M.D., clinical associate professor of pediatrics and of neurology; Jared Cooper, M.D., neuro-interventional surgery fellow; Jose Dominguez, M.D., neurosurgery resident; Tolga Sursal, M.D., neurosurgery resident; Haris Kamal, M.D., neuro-interventional surgery fellow; Katarina Dakay, M.D., neuro-interventional surgery fellow; and Edwin Gulko, M.D., assistant professor of radiology.

The group embarked on the study after physicians at Westchester Medical Center (WMC), a major academic affiliate of NYMC, observed an increased incidence of CVT, a rare type of stroke in which a clot forms in the veins of the brain instead of an artery, in patient infected with COVID-19. Dr. Al-Mufti, who is an interventional neurologist/neurointensivist at WMC, subsequently collected data on COVID-19 patients who also had CVT from across the New York greater metropolitan area.

“We found that patients in our cohort were significantly more likely than the general population to have CVT, were predominantly male, relatively young, and typically did not have conditions that typically predispose them to CVT, such as cancer or recent head trauma,” said Mr. Ogulnick. “We believe this research will benefit future patients with COVID-19 in that physicians can keep an otherwise rare stroke higher in their differential when patients present with neurologic symptoms.”

“It was an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to work on this project that will potentially contribute to the wellbeing of future patients,” said Mr. Ogulnick. “Working on this project was invaluable in helping me develop research skills that I can continue to use throughout my career. I’m so grateful to have had such outstanding faculty mentors at NYMC.”