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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292873


Pathophysiological mechanisms of neurological disorders in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are poorly understood, partly because of a lack of high-resolution neuroimaging data. We applied SynthSR, a convolutional neural network that synthesizes high-resolution isotropic research-quality data from thick-slice clinical MRI data, to a cohort of 11 patients with severe COVID-19. SynthSR successfully synthesized T1-weighted MPRAGE data at 1 mm spatial resolution for all 11 patients, each of whom had at least one brain lesion. Correlations between volumetric measures derived from synthesized and acquired MPRAGE data were strong for the cortical grey matter, subcortical grey matter, brainstem, hippocampus, and hemispheric white matter (r=0.84 to 0.96, p≤0.001), but absent for the cerebellar white matter and corpus callosum (r=0.04 to 0.17, p>0.61). SynthSR creates an opportunity to quantitatively study clinical MRI scans and elucidate the pathophysiology of neurological disorders in patients with COVID-19, including those with focal lesions.

Acad Radiol ; 2021 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458676


INTRODUCTION: Clinical validation studies have demonstrated the ability of accelerated MRI sequences to decrease acquisition time and motion artifact while preserving image quality. The operational benefits, however, have been less explored. Here, we report our initial clinical experience in implementing fast MRI techniques for outpatient brain imaging during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Aggregate acquisition times were extracted from the medical record on consecutive imaging examinations performed during matched pre-implementation (7/1/2019-12/31/2019) and post-implementation periods (7/1/2020-12/31/2020). Expected acquisition time reduction for each MRI protocol was calculated through manual collection of acquisition times for the conventional and accelerated sequences performed during the pre- and post-implementation periods. Aggregate and expected acquisition times were compared for the five most frequently performed brain MRI protocols: brain without contrast (BR-), brain with and without contrast (BR+), multiple sclerosis (MS), memory loss (MML), and epilepsy (EPL). RESULTS: The expected time reductions for BR-, BR+, MS, MML, and EPL protocols were 6.6 min, 11.9 min, 14 min, 10.8 min, and 14.1 min, respectively. The overall median aggregate acquisition time was 31 [25, 36] min for the pre-implementation period and 18 [15, 22] min for the post-implementation period, with a difference of 13 min (42%). The median acquisition time was reduced by 4 min (25%) for BR-, 14.0 min (44%) for BR+, 14 min (38%) for MS, 11 min (52%) for MML, and 16 min (35%) for EPL. CONCLUSION: The implementation of fast brain MRI sequences significantly reduced the acquisition times for the most commonly performed outpatient brain MRI protocols.

J Neurol Sci ; 421: 117308, 2021 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033825


We evaluated the incidence, distribution, and histopathologic correlates of microvascular brain lesions in patients with severe COVID-19. Sixteen consecutive patients admitted to the intensive care unit with severe COVID-19 undergoing brain MRI for evaluation of coma or neurologic deficits were retrospectively identified. Eleven patients had punctate susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) lesions in the subcortical and deep white matter, eight patients had >10 SWI lesions, and four patients had lesions involving the corpus callosum. The distribution of SWI lesions was similar to that seen in patients with hypoxic respiratory failure, sepsis, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Brain autopsy in one patient revealed that SWI lesions corresponded to widespread microvascular injury, characterized by perivascular and parenchymal petechial hemorrhages and microscopic ischemic lesions. Collectively, these radiologic and histopathologic findings add to growing evidence that patients with severe COVID-19 are at risk for multifocal microvascular hemorrhagic and ischemic lesions in the subcortical and deep white matter.

Brain Injuries/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Microvessels/diagnostic imaging , Severity of Illness Index , Brain/blood supply , Brain/diagnostic imaging , Brain Injuries/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Intensive Care Units/trends , Male , Microvessels/injuries , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies