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Int J Neurosci ; : 1-4, 2021 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061217


BACKGROUND: The SARS-nCoV-2019 epidemic has spread since December 2019, quickly gaining worldwide attention. Symptoms consist of fever, cough and breathing difficulties. An increasing number of studies are focusing on neurological manifestations. In addition to the typical ageusia and anosmia, up to 30% of cases can present headache, nausea and vomiting. More serious neurological manifestations, such as encephalitis, thrombosis and cerebral haemorrhage have been reported. CASE DESCRIPTION: We described the case of a 47-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 virus in early March 2020. After two negative nasopharyngeal swabs, 41 days after the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection, he developed intense headache with fever, and he was hospitalized. He had subsequent generalized epileptic seizures and intubation was necessary. Contrast Head MRI was negative for brain abscesses or tumours but detected severe vasogenic oedema of the white matter with 10 mm shift of the midline and compression of the right lateral ventricle. Massive cortisone support therapy was ineffective. We diagnosed brain death on day 43 from the infection diagnosis. DISCUSSION: COVID-19 virus can reach the brain, penetrating into the neuronal cells through the interaction between the spike protein S1 and the host ACE-2 receptor, expressed in the capillary endothelium. We believe that in this infection, the pro-inflammatory state induced by the cytokine storm can cause a cerebral cell-mediated response, with subsequent vasodilatation and brain oedema. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first description of a delayed onset cell-mediated encephalitis caused by COVID-19 virus after more than 40 days from the diagnosis.

JAMA Surg ; 155(8): 691-702, 2020 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-596400


Importance: There are limited data on mortality and complications rates in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who undergo surgery. Objective: To evaluate early surgical outcomes of patients with COVID-19 in different subspecialties. Design, Setting, and Participants: This matched cohort study conducted in the general, vascular and thoracic surgery, orthopedic, and neurosurgery units of Spedali Civili Hospital (Brescia, Italy) included patients who underwent surgical treatment from February 23 to April 1, 2020, and had positive test results for COVID-19 either before or within 1 week after surgery. Gynecological and minor surgical procedures were excluded. Patients with COVID-19 were matched with patients without COVID-19 with a 1:2 ratio for sex, age group, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, and comorbidities recorded in the surgical risk calculator of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Patients older than 65 years were also matched for the Clinical Frailty Scale score. Exposures: Patients with positive results for COVID-19 and undergoing surgery vs matched surgical patients without infection. Screening for COVID-19 was performed with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay in nasopharyngeal swabs, chest radiography, and/or computed tomography. Diagnosis of COVID-19 was based on positivity of at least 1 of these investigations. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was early surgical mortality and complications in patients with COVID-19; secondary end points were the modeling of complications to determine the importance of COVID-19 compared with other surgical risk factors. Results: Of 41 patients (of 333 who underwent operation during the same period) who underwent mainly urgent surgery, 33 (80.5%) had positive results for COVID-19 preoperatively and 8 (19.5%) had positive results within 5 days from surgery. Of the 123 patients of the combined cohorts (78 women [63.4%]; mean [SD] age, 76.6 [14.4] years), 30-day mortality was significantly higher for those with COVID-19 compared with control patients without COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 9.5; 95% CI, 1.77-96.53). Complications were also significantly higher (OR, 4.98; 95% CI, 1.81-16.07); pulmonary complications were the most common (OR, 35.62; 95% CI, 9.34-205.55), but thrombotic complications were also significantly associated with COVID-19 (OR, 13.2; 95% CI, 1.48-∞). Different models (cumulative link model and classification tree) identified COVID-19 as the main variable associated with complications. Conclusions and Relevance: In this matched cohort study, surgical mortality and complications were higher in patients with COVID-19 compared with patients without COVID-19. These data suggest that, whenever possible, surgery should be postponed in patients with COVID-19.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgical Procedures, Operative/adverse effects , Surgical Procedures, Operative/mortality , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Comorbidity , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
Acta Neurochir (Wien) ; 162(7): 1491-1494, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-165424


SARS-CoV-2 can attack the central nervous system in the early stages of infection. Headache, anosmia, and dysgeusia are common symptoms. Disturbance of consciousness and seizures can occur as complications in case of severe COVID-19. We described the case of a COVID-19 patient admitted for interstitial pneumonia and seizures. MRI showed newly diagnosed demyelinating lesions. High-dose steroid treatment allowed neurological and respiratory recovery. We speculated a delayed immune response induced by SARS-CoV-2. The virus may lead to a SIRS-like immune disorder or play a role of infective trigger. Prompt invasive treatment should be adopted to avoid hypoxic neurotoxicity and prevent CNS injuries.