The Use of Noninvasive Multimodal Neuromonitoring in Adult Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19 Infection

J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 2022 Jun 8;10.1097/ANA.0000000000000859. doi: 10.1097/ANA.0000000000000859. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Noninvasive neuromonitoring could be a valuable option for bedside assessment of cerebral dysfunction in patients with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) admitted to intensive care units (ICUs). This systematic review aims to investigate the use of noninvasive multimodal neuromonitoring in critically ill adult patients with COVID-19 infection.

Methods: MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, and EMBASE databases were searched for studies investigating noninvasive neuromonitoring in patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICUs. The monitoring included transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD), the Brain4care Corp. cerebral compliance monitor (B4C), optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD), near infrared spectroscopy, automated pupillometry, and electroencephalography (EEG).

Results: Thirty-two studies that investigated noninvasive neuromonitoring techniques in patients with COVID-19 in the ICU were identified from a systematic search of 7001 articles: 1 study investigating TCD, ONSD and pupillometry; 2 studies investigating the B4C device and TCD; 3 studies investigating near infrared spectroscopy and TCD; 4 studies investigating TCD; 1 case series investigating pupillometry, and 21 studies investigating EEG. One hundred and nineteen patients underwent TCD monitoring, 47 pupillometry, 49 ONSD assessment, 50 compliance monitoring with the B4C device, and 900 EEG monitoring. Alterations in cerebral hemodynamics, brain compliance, brain oxygenation, pupillary response, and brain electrophysiological activity were common in patients with COVID-19 admitted to the ICU; these abnormalities were not clearly associated with worse outcome or the development of new neurological complications.

Conclusions: The use of noninvasive multimodal neuromonitoring in critically ill COVID-19 patients could be considered to facilitate the detection of neurological derangements. Determining whether such findings allow earlier detection of neurological complications or guide appropriate therapy requires additional studies.