BACKGROUND: Several preclinical and clinical investigations have argued for nervous system involvement in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some sparse case reports have described various forms of encephalitis in COVID-19 disease, but very few data have focused on clinical presentations, clinical course, response to treatment and outcomes.METHODS: The ENCOVID multicentre study included patients with encephalitis with full infectious screening, CSF, EEG, MRI data and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection recruited from 13 centres in northern Italy. Clinical presentation and laboratory markers, severity of COVID-19 disease, response to treatment and outcomes were recorded.RESULTS: twenty-five cases of encephalitis positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. CSF showed hyperproteinorrachia and/or pleocytosis in 68% of cases whereas SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR resulted negative. Based on MRI, cases were classified as ADEM (n=3), limbic encephalitis (LE, n=2), encephalitis with normal imaging (n=13) and encephalitis with MRI alterations (n=7). ADEM and LE cases showed a delayed onset compared to the other encephalitis (p=0.001) and were associated with previous more severe COVID-19 respiratory involvement. Patients with MRI alterations exhibited worse response to treatment and final outcomes compared to other encephalitis.CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a wide spectrum of encephalitis characterized by different clinical presentation, response to treatment and outcomes.

Clinical presentation and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 related encephalitis: the ENCOVID multicentre study

Mariotto, Sara;Ferrari, Sergio;Zanusso, Gianluigi;
2021-01-01

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Several preclinical and clinical investigations have argued for nervous system involvement in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some sparse case reports have described various forms of encephalitis in COVID-19 disease, but very few data have focused on clinical presentations, clinical course, response to treatment and outcomes.METHODS: The ENCOVID multicentre study included patients with encephalitis with full infectious screening, CSF, EEG, MRI data and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection recruited from 13 centres in northern Italy. Clinical presentation and laboratory markers, severity of COVID-19 disease, response to treatment and outcomes were recorded.RESULTS: twenty-five cases of encephalitis positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. CSF showed hyperproteinorrachia and/or pleocytosis in 68% of cases whereas SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR resulted negative. Based on MRI, cases were classified as ADEM (n=3), limbic encephalitis (LE, n=2), encephalitis with normal imaging (n=13) and encephalitis with MRI alterations (n=7). ADEM and LE cases showed a delayed onset compared to the other encephalitis (p=0.001) and were associated with previous more severe COVID-19 respiratory involvement. Patients with MRI alterations exhibited worse response to treatment and final outcomes compared to other encephalitis.CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a wide spectrum of encephalitis characterized by different clinical presentation, response to treatment and outcomes.
2021
ADEM
COVID-19
Encephalitis
SARS-CoV-2
neuroinflammation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1027806
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