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Reviews of "Neurological manifestations associated with COVID-19: a nationwide registry"

Study finds broad spectrum of neurological manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Findings are informative for future intervention studies. Decision-makers should consider the claims in this study actionable with limitations to some methods and data.

Published onAug 11, 2020
Reviews of "Neurological manifestations associated with COVID-19: a nationwide registry"
key-enterThis Pub is a Review of
Neurological manifestations associated with COVID-19: a nationwide registry
Description

Background: The clinical description of the neurological manifestations in COVID-19 patients is still underway. This study aims to provide an overview of the spectrum, characteristics and outcomes of neurological manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: We conducted a nationwide, multicentric, retrospective study during the French COVID-19 epidemic in March-April 2020. All COVID-19 patients with de novo neurological manifestations were eligible. Results: We included 222 COVID-19 patients with neurological manifestations from 46 centers throughout the country. Median age was 65 years (IQR 53-72), and 136 patients (61.3%) were male. COVID-19 was severe or critical in almost half of the patients (102, 45.2%). The most common neurological diseases were COVID-19 associated encephalopathy (67/222, 30.2%), acute ischemic cerebrovascular syndrome (57/222, 25.7%), encephalitis (21/222, 9.5%), and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (15/222, 6.8%). Neurological manifestations appeared after first COVID-19 symptoms with a median (IQR) delay of 6 (3-8) days in COVID-19 associated encephalopathy, 7 (5-10) days in encephalitis, 12 (7-18) days in acute ischemic cerebrovascular syndrome and 18 (15-28) days in Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Brain imaging was performed in 192 patients (86.5%), including 157 MRI (70.7%). Brain MRI of encephalitis patients showed heterogeneous acute non vascular lesion in 14/21 patients (66.7%) with associated small ischemic lesion or microhemorrhages in 4 patients. Among patients with acute ischemic cerebrovascular syndrome, 13/57 (22.8%) had multi territory ischemic strokes, with large vessel thrombosis in 16/57 (28.1%). Cerebrospinal fluid was analyzed in 97 patients (43.7%), with pleocytosis in 18 patients (18.6%). A SARS-CoV-2 PCR was performed in 75 patients and was positive only in 2 encephalitis patients. Among patients with encephalitis, ten out of 21 (47.6%) fully recovered, 3 of whom received corticosteroids (CS). Less common neurological manifestations included isolated seizure (8/222, 3.6%), critical illness neuropathy (8/222, 3.6%), transient alteration of consciousness (5/222, 2.3%), intracranial hemorrhage (5/222, 2.3%), acute benign lymphocytic meningitis (3/222, 1.4%), cranial neuropathy (3/222, 1.4%), single acute demyelinating lesion (2/222, 0.9%), Tapia syndrome (2/222, 0.9%), cerebral venous thrombosis (1/222, 0.5%), sudden paraparesis (1/222, 0.5%), generalized myoclonus and cerebellar ataxia (1/222, 0.5%), bilateral fibular palsy (1/222, 0.5%) and isolated neurological symptoms (headache, anosmia, dizziness, sensitive or auditive symptoms, hiccups, 15/222, 6.8%). The median (IQR) follow-up of the 222 patients was 24 (17-34) days with a high short-term mortality rate (28/222, 12.6%). Conclusion: Neurological manifestations associated with COVID-19 mainly included CAE, AICS, encephalitis and GBS. Clinical spectrum and outcomes were broad and heterogeneous, suggesting different underlying pathogenic processes.

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