Encephalitis and encephalopathy in patients affected by COVID-19





Neuropathy; SARS-CoV-2; Central Nervous System.


Not only the respiratory tract being the main one affected by COVID-19, but also neurological involvement is not uncommon in hospitalized patients and can result in serious complications. Encephalopathy and encephalitis are serious and devastating complications of the Central Nervous System (CNS) that have been associated with COVID-19. This systematic review gathers existing data in the literature regarding the development of different types of encephalitis and encephalopathies in patients with COVID-19. A search was performed in the PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases, resulting in 231 articles. There were 25 works left to compose this systematic review. Among them, 2 were retrospective studies and 23 are case reports. 12 studies presented cases with data consistent with encephalitis and 14 with encephalopathies. Among them, some cases with more specific types were observed more than once in our research: 3 meningoencephalitis, 3 Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy (ANE), 2 Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES), 2 Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Findings of white matter, cortical or subcortical hyperintensities were common. Hypodensity and hypoattenuation of deep white matter structures and focal hypodensity of deep structures, as well as multiple lesions involving hippocampus, basal ganglia, medulla, brainstem, thalamus, among other regions. Postmortem studies have already demonstrated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral particles in brain tissue. This CNS involvement associated with COVID-19 is considered an indicator of poor prognosis, which can lead to rapid clinical deterioration of patients.


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How to Cite

COSTA, D. A.; DIAS, B. N. .; PEREIRA, B. M. de C. .; COELHO, F. A. da R. .; SANTOS, G. A. dos .; SILVA, J. D. V. .; AGUIAR, M. R. F. .; FERNANDES, T.; PRADO, E. de M. .; CARMO, R. R. de S. .; OLIVEIRA, A. T. Encephalitis and encephalopathy in patients affected by COVID-19. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 10, n. 12, p. e464101220764, 2021. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v10i12.20764. Disponível em: https://rsdjournal.org/index.php/rsd/article/view/20764. Acesso em: 26 feb. 2024.



Review Article