The aim of this retrospective, international multicenter study was to assess the association between abnormal findings on chest and brain imaging in patients with COVID-19 and neurologic symptoms. The electronic medical records and imaging of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 from March 3, 2020, to June 25, 2020 were reviewed. Inclusion criteria were patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection with acute neurologic manifestations and available chest CT and brain imaging. The 5 lobes of the lungs were individually scored on a scale of 0-5 (0 corresponded to no involvement and 5 corresponded to >75% involvement). A CT lung severity score was determined as the sum of lung involvement, ranging from 0 (no involvement) to 25 (maximum involvement). A total of 135 patients met the inclusion criteria with 132 brain CT, 36 brain MR imaging, 7 MRA of the head and neck, and 135 chest CT studies. Compared with 86 (64%) patients without acute abnormal findings on neuroimaging, 49 (36%) patients with these findings had a significantly higher mean CT lung severity score (9.9 versus 5.8, P < .001). These patients were more likely to present with ischemic stroke (40 [82%] versus 11 [13%], P < .0001) and were more likely to have either ground-glass opacities or consolidation (46 [94%] versus 73 [84%], P = .01) in the lungs. A threshold of the CT lung severity score of >8 was found to be 74% sensitive and 65% specific for acute abnormal findings on neuroimaging. The neuroimaging hallmarks of these patients were acute ischemic infarct (28%), intracranial hemorrhage (10%) including microhemorrhages (19%), and leukoencephalopathy with and/or without restricted diffusion (11%). The predominant CT chest findings were peripheral ground-glass opacities with or without consolidation. The authors concluded that the CT lung disease severity score may be predictive of acute abnormalities on neuroimaging in patients with COVID-19 with neurologic manifestations. This can be used as a predictive tool in patient management to improve clinical outcome.
Mahammedi A, et al. Brain and Lung Imaging Correlation in Patients with COVID-19: Could the Severity of Lung Disease Reflect the Prevalence of Acute Abnormalities on Neuroimaging? A Global Multicenter Observational Study. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2021 Mar 11. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A7072