COVID-19-associated Diffuse Leukoencephalopathy and Microhemorrhages

Radiology. 2020 Oct;297(1):E223-E227. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020202040. Epub 2020 May 21.

Abstract

Diffuse leukoencephalopathy and juxtacortical and/or callosal microhemorrhages were brain imaging features in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been reported in association with a variety of brain imaging findings such as ischemic infarct, hemorrhage, and acute hemorrhagic necrotizing encephalopathy. Herein, the authors report brain imaging features in 11 critically ill patients with COVID-19 with persistently diminished mental status who underwent MRI between April 5 and April 25, 2020. These imaging features include (a) confluent T2 hyperintensity and mild restricted diffusion in bilateral supratentorial deep and subcortical white matter (in 10 of 11 patients) and (b) multiple punctate microhemorrhages in juxtacortical and callosal white matter (in seven of 11 patients). The authors also discuss potential pathogeneses.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Brain* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain* / pathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage* / pathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage* / virology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronavirus Infections* / pathology
  • Encephalitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Encephalitis / pathology
  • Encephalitis / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukoencephalopathies* / diagnostic imaging
  • Leukoencephalopathies* / pathology
  • Leukoencephalopathies* / virology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2