Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy in Adult Patients With COVID-19: A Systematic Review of Case Reports and Case Series.

Publication date: Jul 13, 2023

Acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE) is a rare neurological disorder that is often associated with viral infections. Since the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a few COVID-19-associated ANE cases have been reported. Since very little is known about ANE, the present study aimed to determine the clinical, biochemical, and radiological characteristics of affected patients. A search was conducted on PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Web of Science databases for articles published up to August 30, 2022 using relevant keywords. Case reports and series in the English language that reported ANE in adult patients with COVID-19 confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction were included in this study. Data on the demographic, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics of patients were extracted and analyzed using the SPSS software (version 26). The study included 30 patients (18 males) with COVID-19 and ANE who were aged 49. 87+/-18. 68 years (mean+/-standard deviation). Fever was the most-prevalent symptom at presentation (66. 7%). Elevated C-reactive protein was observed in the laboratory assessments of 13 patients. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were the most-common radiological modalities used for brain assessments. The most commonly prescribed medications were methylprednisolone (30%) and remdesivir (26. 7%). Sixteen patients died prior to discharge. The diagnosis of COVID-19-associated ANE requires a thorough knowledge of the disease. Since the clinical presentations of ANE are neither sensitive nor specific, further laboratory and brain radiological evaluations will be needed to confirm the diagnosis. The suspicion of ANE should be raised among patients with COVID-19 who present with progressive neurological symptoms.

Concepts Keywords
August acute necrotizing encephalopathy
Coronavirus COVID-19
English SARS-CoV-2


Type Source Name
disease MESH Encephalopathy
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH neurological disorder
disease MESH viral infections
disease VO Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
disease IDO symptom
drug DRUGBANK Methylprednisolone

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