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J Pers Med ; 12(4)2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776272


A large spectrum of neurological manifestations has been associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and recently, the involvement of small fibers has been suggested. This study aims to investigate the involvement of small peripheral nervous fibers in recovered COVID-19 patients using in-vivo corneal confocal microscopy (CCM). Patients recovered from COVID-19 and a control group of healthy subjects underwent in-vivo CCM. Corneal nerve fiber density (CNFD), corneal nerve branch density (CNBD), corneal nerve fiber length (CNFL), corneal nerve fiber total branch density (CTBD), corneal nerve fiber area (CNFA), corneal nerve fiber width (CNFW), fiber tortuosity (FT), number of beadings (NBe), and dendritic cells (DC) density were quantified. We enrolled 302 eyes of 151 patients. CNBD and FT were significantly higher (p = 0.0131, p < 0.0001), whereas CNFW and NBe were significantly lower (p = 0.0056, p = 0.0045) in the COVID-19 group compared to controls. Only CNBD and FT resulted significantly correlated to antiviral drugs (increased) and corticosteroids (decreased). No significant relationship with disease severity parameters was found. COVID-19 may induce peripheral neuropathy in small fibers even months after recovery, regardless of systemic conditions and therapy, and CCM may be a useful tool to identify and monitor these morphological changes.