Neurological manifestations as prognostic factors in COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study

Link to article at PubMed

Acta Neurol Belg. 2022 Jan 21. doi: 10.1007/s13760-021-01851-7. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Neurological manifestations are frequent during COVID-19 but have been poorly studied as prognostic markers of COVID-19.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess whether neurological manifestations are associated with a poor prognosis of COVID-19, and which patient and COVID-19 characteristics were associated with encephalopathy.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study and included patients admitted with COVID-19 in four hospitals from Recife, Brazil. Data were collected by reviewing medical records.

RESULTS: 613 were included; 54.6% were male, the median age was 54 (41-68) years, 26.4% required mechanical ventilation, and 24.1% died. The neurological symptoms presented were: myalgia (25.6%), headache (22%), fatigue (22%), drowsiness (16%), anosmia (14%), disorientation (8.8%), ageusia (7.3%), seizures (2.8%), and dizziness (1.5%). Twelve patients (2%) had strokes (ischemic strokes: 9) and 149 (24.3%), encephalopathy. Older age, a prolonged hospitalization, diabetes mellitus, a previous history of stroke and having epileptic seizures during hospitalization were significantly associated with the occurrence of encephalopathy. Older age, smoking and requiring mechanical ventilation were associated with prolonged hospitalization. Older patients, those requiring mechanical ventilation and those with encephalopathy presented a significantly higher risk, while those who had anosmia presented a significantly lower risk of dying.

CONCLUSIONS: Neurological symptoms are frequent among patients with COVID-19. Encephalopathy was the most frequent neurological complication and was associated with a higher mortality. Those with anosmia had a lower mortality.

PMID:35060095 | DOI:10.1007/s13760-021-01851-7

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