Hemorrhagic presentations of COVID-19: Risk factors for mortality

David J. Altschul, Santiago R. Unda, Rafael de La Garza Ramos, Richard Zampolin, Joshua Benton, Ryan Holland, Adisson Fortunel, Neil Haranhalli

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44 Scopus citations


Objective: We aim to characterize the incidence, risk for mortality, and identify risk factors for mortality in patients presenting with hemorrhage and COVID-19. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included a cohort of patients admitted to one of three major hospitals of our healthcare network including, an academic medical center and comprehensive stroke center, which accepts transfers for complex cases from eight community hospitals, during March 1 to May 1, 2020. All patients that received imaging of the neuroaxis and had positive PCR testing for COVID-19 were identified and reviewed by an attending neuroradiologist. Demographics and comorbidities were recorded. Biomarkers were recorded from the day of the hemorrhagic event. Vital signs from the day of the hemorrhagic event mechanical ventilation orders at admission were recorded. Imaging findings were divided into 5 subtypes; acute subdural hematoma (SDH), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), multi-compartmental hemorrhage (MCH), multi-focal intracerebral hemorrhage (MFH), and focal intracerebral hemorrhage (fICH). Outcomes were recorded as non-routine discharge and mortality. Results: We found a total of 35 out of 5227 patients with COVID-19 that had hemorrhage of some kind. Mortality for the entire cohort was 45.7 % (n = 16). SDH patients had a mortality rate of 35.3 % (n = 6), SAH had a mortality of 50 % (n = 1), MCH patients had a mortality of 71.4 % (n = 5), MFH patients had a mortality of 50 % (n = 2), fICH patients had a mortality of 40 % (n = 2). Patients with severe pulmonary COVID requiring mechanical ventilation (OR 10.24 [.43−243.12] p = 0.015), with INR > 1.2 on the day of the hemorrhagic event (OR 14.36 [1.69−122.14] p = 0.015], and patients presenting with spontaneous vs. traumatic hemorrhage (OR 6.11 [.31−118.89] p = 0.023) had significantly higher risk for mortality. Conclusions: Hemorrhagic presentations with COVID-19 are a rare but serious way in which the illness can manifest. It is important for neurosurgeons to realize that patients can present with these findings without primary pulmonary symptoms, and that severe pulmonary symptoms, elevated INR, and spontaneous hemorrhagic presentations is associated with increased risk for mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106112
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Mortality
  • Multi-compartmental hemorrhage
  • Outcomes
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Subdural hematoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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