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J Neurol ; 270(3): 1195-1206, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2174130


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Despite olfactory disorders being among the most common neurological complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), their pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated yet. Brain MR imaging is a consolidated method for evaluating olfactory system's morphological modification, but a few quantitative studies have been published so far. The aim of the study was to provide MRI evidence of olfactory system alterations in patients with COVID-19 and neurological symptoms, including olfactory dysfunction. METHODS: 196 COVID-19 patients (median age: 53 years, 56% females) and 39 controls (median age 55 years, 49% females) were included in this cross-sectional observational study; 78 of the patients reported olfactory loss as the only neurological symptom. MRI processing was performed by ad-hoc semi-automatic processing procedures. Olfactory bulb (OB) volume was measured on T2-weighted MRI based on manual tracing and normalized to the brain volume. Olfactory tract (OT) median signal intensity was quantified on fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences, after preliminary intensity normalization. RESULTS: COVID-19 patients showed significantly lower left, right and total OB volumes than controls (p < 0.05). Age-related OB atrophy was found in the control but not in the patient population. No significant difference was found between patients with olfactory disorders and other neurological symptoms. Several outliers with abnormally high OT FLAIR signal intensity were found in the patient group. CONCLUSIONS: Brain MRI findings demonstrated OB damage in COVID-19 patients with neurological complications. Future longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the transient or permanent nature of OB atrophy in COVID-19 pathology.

COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Male , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Cross-Sectional Studies , Olfaction Disorders/diagnostic imaging , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Smell , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Olfactory Bulb/diagnostic imaging
Eur Radiol ; 31(4): 1999-2012, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841709


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the inter-rater agreement of chest X-ray (CXR) findings in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to determine the value of initial CXR along with demographic, clinical, and laboratory data at emergency department (ED) presentation for predicting mortality and the need for ventilatory support. METHODS: A total of 340 COVID-19 patients who underwent CXR in the ED setting (March 1-13, 2020) were retrospectively included. Two reviewers independently assessed CXR abnormalities, including ground-glass opacities (GGOs) and consolidation. Two scoring systems (Brixia score and percentage of lung involvement) were applied. Inter-rater agreement was assessed by weighted Cohen's kappa (κ) or intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Predictors of death and respiratory support were identified by logistic or Poisson regression. RESULTS: GGO admixed with consolidation (n = 235, 69%) was the most common CXR finding. The inter-rater agreement was almost perfect for type of parenchymal opacity (κ = 0.90), Brixia score (ICC = 0.91), and percentage of lung involvement (ICC = 0.95). The Brixia score (OR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.34; p = 0.003), age (OR: 1.16; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.22; p < 0.001), PaO2/FiO2 ratio (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.98, 1; p = 0.002), and cardiovascular diseases (OR: 3.21; 95% CI: 1.28, 8.39; p = 0.014) predicted death. Percentage of lung involvement (OR: 1.02; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.03; p = 0.001) and PaO2/FiO2 ratio (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.99, 1.00; p < 0.001) were significant predictors of the need for ventilatory support. CONCLUSIONS: CXR is a reproducible tool for assessing COVID-19 and integrates with patient history, PaO2/FiO2 ratio, and SpO2 values to early predict mortality and the need for ventilatory support. KEY POINTS: • Chest X-ray is a reproducible tool for assessing COVID-19 pneumonia. • The Brixia score and percentage of lung involvement on chest X-ray integrate with patient history, PaO2/FIO2 ratio, and SpO2 values to early predict mortality and the need for ventilatory support in COVID-19 patients presenting to the emergency department.

COVID-19 , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Lung , Radiography, Thoracic , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , X-Rays