COVID-19 -Associated Diffuse Leukoencephalopathy and Microhemorrhages

Radiology. 2020 May 21;202040. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020202040. Online ahead of print.


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. Here, we report brain imaging features in 11 critically ill COVID-19 patients with persistently depressed mental status who underwent MRI between April 5-25, 2020 at our institution. These features include, 1) Confluent T2 hyperintensity and mild restricted diffusion in bilateral supratentorial deep and subcortical white matter (in 10 of 11 patients), and 2) multiple punctate microhemorrhages in juxtacortical and callosal white matter (in 7 of 11 patients). We also discuss potential pathogeneses.