Pressing Issues in COVID-19: Probable Cause to Seize SARS-CoV-2 for Its Preferential Involvement of Posterior Circulation Manifesting as Severe Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome and Posterior Strokes

F D'Amore, G Vinacci, E Agosti, L P Cariddi, A V Terrana, F A Vizzari, M Mauri, A Giorgianni
AJNR. American Journal of Neuroradiology 2020 July 30
Since December 2019, a novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 from China has rapidly spread worldwide. Although respiratory involvement is the mainstay of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), systemic involvement has recently drawn more attention. In particular, a number of recent articles have shed light on the nervous system as one of the possible targets. At our institution, we observed 15 patients with acute brain vascular manifestations; most interesting, we had a higher prevalence of the posterior circulation acute impairment. In our series, 7 patients had acute posterior cerebral injury: 1, hemorrhagic posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome; 5, posterior circulation ischemic stroke; and 1, parieto-occipital hemorrhagic stroke. On the basis of our evidence and previous basic science reports, we believe a common etiopathogenetic thread may connect ischemic/hemorrhagic events of the posterior circulation and posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome in the setting of COVID-19.

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