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Systematic Review Article

Imaging Markers of Neurologic Damage in COVID-19: A Systematic Review

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 9 ]


Sara Tavares Araújo, Clara Tavares Araújo, Rafael Silva e Castro, Lara Machado de Oliveira Brügger, Nathália Gualberto Souza e Silva, Debora Marques de Miranda and Ana Cristina Simões e Silva*   Pages 1086 - 1106 ( 21 )


Background and Objectives: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection commonly leads to neurologic manifestations. In the present review, we aimed to investigate potential neuroimaging markers of early diagnosis and prognosis of neurologic manifestations in COVID-19.

Methods: Our study was registered in the Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) under the protocol CDR42021265443. Based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we selected 51 studies for whole-manuscript analysis.

Results: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was the most common imaging method. The pattern, sites of lesion, signs, and symptoms of neurologic injury varied. Such manifestations possibly resulted from a direct viral infection or, most likely, from indirect mechanisms including coagulation disturbances, hypoxemia, and immunological responses.

Conclusion: The heterogeneity of the studies precludes any generalization of the findings. Brain MRI is the most informative imaging exam. Population studies, including the entire spectrum of COVID-19 are missing. There is still a need for future population studies evaluating neurologic manifestations of all COVID-19 severities acutely and chronically.


Imaging, PET-CT, MRI, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, brain, neurologic.


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