COVID-19 Does Not Increase the Risk of Spontaneous Cervical Artery Dissection.

Publication date: Oct 01, 2023

Background Case reports have raised the possibility of an association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and spontaneous cervical artery dissection (sCeAD), yet no large studies have examined this association. We hypothesized that adults with confirmed COVID-19 would have an increased risk of sCeAD over the subsequent six months compared to test-negative controls after adjusting for confounding variables. Methods We obtained data from a United States medical records network (TriNetX, Inc. , Cambridge, MA) of >106 million patients, providing adequate power needed for this rare outcome. We identified two cohorts of adults meeting the criteria of (1) test-confirmed COVID-19 or (2) non-COVID-19 test-negative controls, from April 1, 2020, to December 31, 2022. Patients with previous COVID-19 or conditions predisposing to sCeAD were excluded. Propensity matching was used to control for variables associated with sCeAD and markers of healthcare utilization. Results The number of patients reduced from before matching (COVID-19: 491,592; non-COVID-19: 1,472,895) to after matching, resulting in 491,115 patients per cohort. After matching, there were 22 cases of sCeAD in the COVID-19 cohort (0. 0045%) and 20 cases in the non-COVID-19 cohort (0. 0041%), yielding a risk ratio of 1. 10 (95% CI: 0. 60-2. 02; P = 0. 7576). Both cohorts had a median of five healthcare visits during follow-up. Conclusions Our results suggest that COVID-19 is not a risk factor for sCeAD. This null finding alleviates the concern raised by initial case reports and may better direct future research efforts on this topic.

Concepts Keywords
Coronavirus coronavirus infections
December covid-19
Healthcare respiratory infections
Spontaneous vertebral artery dissection


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease MESH coronavirus infections
disease MESH internal carotid artery dissection
disease MESH respiratory infections
disease MESH vertebral artery dissection

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