Background and purpose: Ischemic infarction of the corpus callosum is rare and infarction isolated to the corpus callosum alone rarer still, accounting for much <1% of ischemic stroke in most stroke registries. About half of callosal infarctions affect the splenium.
Methods: During a 2-week period, at the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in New York City, 4 patients at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx were found to have ischemic lesions of the splenium of the corpus callosum, 2 with infarction isolated to the corpus callosum.
Results: All patients tested positive for COVID-19 and 3 had prolonged periods of intubation. All had cardiovascular risk factors. Clinically, all presented with encephalopathy and had evidence of coagulopathy and raised inflammatory markers.
Conclusions: Infarction of the splenium of the corpus callosum is exceedingly rare and a cluster of such cases suggests COVID-19 as an inciting agent, with the mechanisms to be elucidated.
Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; corpus callosum; inpatients; posterior cerebral artery.