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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 457-469

COVID-19-associated acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: A systematic review

1 Department of Plastic Surgery, KAHER J N Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neurological Surgery, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Neurology, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kiran Sunil Mahapure
Department of Plastic Surgery, KAHER J N Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_406_20

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Objective: The objective of this study was to provide an overview of acute disseminating encephalomyelitis, a potential and serious complication of COVID-19. Methods: Three primary databases were used, PubMed, LitCovid, and WHO. The final review articles reported acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) in COVID-19-positive patients and were full-text, peer-reviewed articles. Articles which did not have patient data such as in vitro studies and articles with unclear inference were excluded. Results: Out of 21 cases of ADEM, the diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 was confirmed in 18 and suspected in 3. Among the neurological symptoms, altered consciousness was most common (7/21), followed by anosmia (3), paraplegia (3/21), brain stem involvement (3/21), sphincter involvement (2/21), and quadriplegia (1/21). Raised inflammatory markers were most commonly seen in 9/17. Central nervous system imaging was abnormal in 19 cases and unavailable in 2 cases. Fifteen patients were treated with corticosteroids, 11 patients received intravenous immunoglobulin, while 3 patients received convalescent plasma. Two patients needed surgical intervention. Complications included seizures (1), acute kidney injury and septicemic shock (1), raised intracranial pressure (1), and supraventricular tachycardia secondary to hydroxychloroquine (1). One patient recovered completely and one had good recovery with mild deficits. Thirteen patients had incomplete recovery with residual neurological deficit while three patients died as the consequence of the disease. Conclusion: The physicians and neurosurgeons should be diligent while treating the COVID-19 patients with neurological manifestations and include ADEM as a differential diagnosis and stress on early diagnosis and treatment to reduce mortality and achieve satisfactory clinical outcome.

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