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Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm ; 8(6)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376615


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of reports have described cases of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (AHLE) following infection with COVID-19. Given their relatively rare occurrence, the primary objective of this systematic review was to synthesize their clinical features, response to treatments, and clinical outcomes to better understand the nature of this neurologic consequence of COVID-19 infection. METHODS: Patients with a history of COVID-19 infection were included if their reports provided adequate detail to confirm a diagnosis of ADEM or AHLE by virtue of clinical features, radiographic abnormalities, and histopathologic findings. Cases purported to be secondary to vaccination against COVID-19 or occurring in the context of a preexisting relapsing CNS demyelinating disease were excluded. Case reports and series were identified via PubMed on May 17, 2021, and 4 additional cases from the authors' hospital files supplemented the systematic review of the literature. Summary statistics were used to describe variables using a complete case analysis approach. RESULTS: Forty-six patients (28 men, median age 49.5 years, 1/3 >50 years old) were analyzed, derived from 26 case reports or series originating from 8 countries alongside 4 patient cases from the authors' hospital files. COVID-19 infection was laboratory confirmed in 91% of cases, and infection severity necessitated intensive care in 67%. ADEM occurred in 31 cases, whereas AHLE occurred in 15, with a median presenting nadir modified Rankin Scale score of 5 (bedridden). Anti-MOG seropositivity was rare (1/15 patients tested). Noninflammatory CSF was present in 30%. Hemorrhage on brain MRI was identified in 42%. Seventy percent received immunomodulatory treatments, most commonly steroids, IV immunoglobulins, or plasmapheresis. The final mRS score was ≥4 in 64% of patients with adequate follow-up information, including 32% who died. DISCUSSION: In contrast to ADEM cases from the prepandemic era, reported post-COVID-19 ADEM and AHLE cases were often advanced in age at onset, experienced severe antecedent infection, displayed an unusually high rate of hemorrhage on neuroimaging, and routinely had poor neurologic outcomes, including a high mortality rate. Findings are limited by nonstandardized reporting of cases, truncated follow-up information, and presumed publication bias.

COVID-19/complications , Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated/etiology , Brain/diagnostic imaging , Brain/pathology , Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated/mortality , Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated/physiopathology , Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated/therapy , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Intensive Care Units , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/etiology , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/mortality , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/physiopathology , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/therapy , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Plasmapheresis , 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
Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm ; 7(5)2020 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381838


OBJECTIVE: To describe a novel case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE) in a patient with aplastic anemia where there was early brain stem-predominant involvement. METHODS: Evaluation of cause, clinical symptoms, and treatment response. RESULTS: A 59-year-old woman with a background of transfusion-dependent aplastic anemia presented with seizures and reduced level of consciousness 10 days after the onset of subjective fever, cough, and headache. Nasopharyngeal swab testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was positive, and CT during admission demonstrated diffuse swelling of the brain stem. She required intubation and mechanical ventilation for airway protection, given her reduced level of consciousness. The patient's condition deteriorated, and MRI on day 6 demonstrated worsening brain stem swelling with symmetrical hemorrhagic lesions in the brain stem, amygdalae, putamina, and thalamic nuclei. Appearances were consistent with hemorrhagic ANE with early brain stem involvement. The patient showed no response to steroid therapy and died on the eighth day of admission. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 may be associated with an acute severe encephalopathy and, in this case, was considered most likely to represent an immune-mediated phenomenon. As the pandemic continues, we anticipate that the spectrum of neurologic presentation will broaden. It will be important to delineate the full clinical range of emergent COVID-19-related neurologic disease.

Anemia, Aplastic/complications , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Amygdala/diagnostic imaging , Anemia, Aplastic/therapy , Brain Edema/diagnostic imaging , Brain Edema/etiology , Brain Edema/physiopathology , Brain Edema/therapy , Brain Stem/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Fatal Outcome , Female , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/diagnostic imaging , Intracranial Hemorrhages/etiology , Intracranial Hemorrhages/physiopathology , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/diagnostic imaging , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/physiopathology , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/therapy , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Platelet Transfusion , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Putaminal Hemorrhage/diagnostic imaging , Putaminal Hemorrhage/etiology , Putaminal Hemorrhage/physiopathology , Respiration, Artificial , Seizures/etiology , Thalamic Nuclei/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed