Neurological Manifestations of Severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Potential Mechanisms and Implications of Individualized Mechanical Ventilation Settings

Denise Battaglini, Iole Brunetti, Pasquale Anania, Pietro Fiaschi, Gianluigi Zona, Lorenzo Ball, Daniele Roberto Giacobbe, Antonio Vena, Matteo Bassetti, Nicolò Patroniti, Angelo Schenone, Paolo Pelosi, Patricia R.M. Rocco, Chiara Robba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

In December 2019, an outbreak of illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV, subsequently renamed SARS-CoV-2) was reported in Wuhan, China. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) quickly spread worldwide to become a pandemic. Typical manifestations of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough, fatigue, and respiratory distress. In addition, both the central and peripheral nervous system can be affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection. These neurological changes may be caused by viral neurotropism, by a hyperinflammatory and hypercoagulative state, or even by mechanical ventilation-associated impairment. Hypoxia, endothelial cell damage, and the different impacts of different ventilatory strategies may all lead to increased stress and strain, potentially exacerbating the inflammatory response and leading to a complex interaction between the lungs and the brain. To date, no studies have taken into consideration the possible secondary effect of mechanical ventilation on brain recovery and outcomes. The aim of our review is to provide an updated overview of the potential pathogenic mechanisms of neurological manifestations in COVID-19, discuss the physiological issues related to brain-lung interactions, and propose strategies for optimization of respiratory support in critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number845
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2020

Keywords

  • coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • neurological manifestations
  • neurotropism
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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