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J Neurovirol ; 27(4): 656-661, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260618


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) commonly results in a respiratory illness in symptomatic patients; however, those critically ill can develop a leukoencephalopathy. We describe two patients who had novel subacute MRI findings in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) leukoencephalopathy, which we hypothesize could implicate a potent small-vessel vasculitis, ischemic demyelination and the presence of prolonged ischemia. Recent evidence of the direct neuroinvasiness of SARS-CoV-2 leading to ischemia and vascular damage supports this hypothesis.

COVID-19/complications , Demyelinating Diseases/pathology , Leukoencephalopathies/pathology , Leukoencephalopathies/virology , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/pathology , Demyelinating Diseases/virology , Female , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/virology
Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol ; 47(3): 454-459, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947788


Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is a rapidly evolving pandemic caused by the coronavirus Sars-CoV-2. Clinically manifest central nervous system symptoms have been described in COVID-19 patients and could be the consequence of commonly associated vascular pathology, but the detailed neuropathological sequelae remain largely unknown. A total of six cases, all positive for Sars-CoV-2, showed evidence of cerebral petechial hemorrhages and microthrombi at autopsy. Two out of six patients showed an elevated risk for disseminated intravascular coagulopathy according to current criteria and were excluded from further analysis. In the remaining four patients, the hemorrhages were most prominent at the grey and white matter junction of the neocortex, but were also found in the brainstem, deep grey matter structures and cerebellum. Two patients showed vascular intramural inflammatory infiltrates, consistent with Sars-CoV-2-associated endotheliitis, which was associated by elevated levels of the Sars-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 in the brain vasculature. Distribution and morphology of patchy brain microbleeds was clearly distinct from hypertension-related hemorrhage, critical illness-associated microbleeds and cerebral amyloid angiopathy, which was ruled out by immunohistochemistry. Cerebral microhemorrhages in COVID-19 patients could be a consequence of Sars- CoV-2-induced endotheliitis and more general vasculopathic changes and may correlate with an increased risk of vascular encephalopathy.

COVID-19/complications , Cerebral Hemorrhage/pathology , Cerebral Hemorrhage/virology , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/pathology , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/virology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3572, 2020 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-647071


SARS-CoV-2 outbreak is the first pandemic of the century. SARS-CoV-2 infection is transmitted through droplets; other transmission routes are hypothesized but not confirmed. So far, it is unclear whether and how SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted from the mother to the fetus. We demonstrate the transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a neonate born to a mother infected in the last trimester and presenting with neurological compromise. The transmission is confirmed by comprehensive virological and pathological investigations. In detail, SARS-CoV-2 causes: (1) maternal viremia, (2) placental infection demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and very high viral load; placental inflammation, as shown by histological examination and immunohistochemistry, and (3) neonatal viremia following placental infection. The neonate is studied clinically, through imaging, and followed up. The neonate presented with neurological manifestations, similar to those described in adult patients.

Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Vasculitis, Central Nervous System/virology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Male , Maternal-Fetal Exchange/physiology , Mothers , Pandemics , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Viremia/transmission , Young Adult