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J Neuroradiol ; 2021 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521436


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A wide range of neuroradiological findings has been reported in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), ranging from subcortical white matter changes to infarcts, haemorrhages and focal contrast media enhancement. These have been descriptively but inconsistently reported and correlations with clinical findings and biomarkers have been difficult to extract from the literature. The purpose of this study was to quantify the extents of neuroradiological findings in a cohort of patients with COVID-19 and neurological symptoms, and to investigate correlations with clinical findings, duration of intensive care and biomarkers in blood. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Patients with positive SARS-CoV-2 and at least one new-onset neurological symptom were included from April until July 2020. Nineteen patients were examined regarding clinical symptoms, biomarkers in blood and MRI of the brain. In order to quantify the MRI findings, a semi-quantitative neuroradiological severity scale was constructed a priori, and applied to the MR images by two specialists in neuroradiology. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The score from the severity scale correlated significantly with blood biomarkers of CNS injury (glial fibrillary acidic protein, total-tau, ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1) and inflammation (C-reactive protein), Glasgow Coma Scale score, and the number of days spent in intensive care. The underlying radiological assessments had inter-rater agreements of 90.5%/86% (for assessments with 2/3 alternatives). Total intraclass correlation was 0.80. Previously reported neuroradiological findings in COVID-19 have been diverse and heterogenous. In this study, the extent of findings in MRI examination of the brain, quantified using a structured report, shows correlation with relevant biomarkers.

Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3324-3331, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035403


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neurological symptoms have been frequently reported in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and biomarkers of central nervous system (CNS) injury are reported to be increased in plasma but not extensively studied in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This study examined CSF for biomarkers of CNS injury and other pathology in relation to neurological symptoms and disease severity in patients with neurological manifestations of COVID-19. METHODS: Nineteen patients with neurological symptoms and mild to critical COVID-19 were prospectively included. Extensive analysis of CSF, including measurement of biomarkers of CNS injury (neurofilament light chain [NfL] protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAp], and total tau), was performed and compared to neurological features and disease severity. RESULTS: Neurological symptoms included altered mental status (42%), headache (42%), and central (21%) and peripheral weakness (32%). Two patients demonstrated minor pleocytosis, and four patients had increased immunoglobulin G levels in CSF. Neuronal autoantibody testing using commercial tests was negative in all patients. Increased CSF levels of NfL protein, total tau, and GFAp were seen in 63%, 37%, and 16% of patients, respectively. Increased NfL protein correlated with disease severity, time in intensive care, and level of consciousness. NfL protein in CSF was higher in patients with central neurological symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Although limited by the small sample size, our data suggest that levels of NfL protein, GFAp, and total tau in CSF are commonly elevated in patients with COVID-19 with neurological symptoms. This is in contrast to the standard CSF workup where pathological findings are scarce. NfL protein, in particular, is associated with central neurological symptoms and disease severity.

COVID-19 , Neurofilament Proteins , Biomarkers , Central Nervous System , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
Neurology ; 95(10): 445-449, 2020 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999777


Here, we report a case of COVID-19-related acute necrotizing encephalopathy where SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in CSF 19 days after symptom onset after testing negative twice. Although monocytes and protein levels in CSF were only marginally increased, and our patient never experienced a hyperinflammatory state, her neurologic function deteriorated into coma. MRI of the brain showed pathologic signal symmetrically in central thalami, subinsular regions, medial temporal lobes, and brain stem. Extremely high concentrations of the neuronal injury markers neurofilament light and tau, as well as an astrocytic activation marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein, were measured in CSF. Neuronal rescue proteins and other pathways were elevated in the in-depth proteomics analysis. The patient received IV immunoglobulins and plasma exchange. Her neurologic status improved, and she was extubated 4 weeks after symptom onset. This case report highlights the neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2 in selected patients and emphasizes the importance of repeated lumbar punctures and CSF analyses in patients with suspected COVID-19 and neurologic symptoms.

Brain/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/cerebrospinal fluid , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/cerebrospinal fluid , Pneumonia, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , RNA, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Acyclovir/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/cerebrospinal fluid , Humans , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interleukin-6/cerebrospinal fluid , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/diagnostic imaging , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/physiopathology , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/therapy , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Middle Aged , Neurofilament Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid , Pandemics , Plasma Exchange , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Viral Tropism , tau Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid