J Neurol. 2021 Mar 11. doi: 10.1007/s00415-021-10468-y. Online ahead of print.
Neurological manifestations may be common in COVID-19 patients. They may include several syndromes, such as a suggested autoimmune abnormal response, which may result in encephalitis and new-onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE). Quickly recognizing such cases and starting the most appropriate therapy is mandatory due to the related rapid worsening and bad outcomes. This case series describes two adult patients admitted to the university hospital and positive to novel coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) infection who developed drug-resistant status epilepticus. Both patients underwent early electroencephalography (EEG) assessment, which showed a pathological EEG pattern characterized by general slowing, rhythmic activity and continuous epileptic paroxysmal activity. A suspected autoimmune etiology, potentially triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection, encouraged a rapid work-up for a possible autoimmune encephalitis diagnosis. Therapeutic approach included the administration of 0.4 g/kg intravenous immunoglobulin, which resulted in a complete resolution of seizures after 5 and after 10 days, respectively, without adverse effects and followed by a normalization of the EEG patterns.