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SARS-CoV-2 infection and spontaneous spinal hemorrhage: a systematic review.

Neurosurgical Review 2023 November 16
The neurological manifestations of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, including spontaneous spinal hemorrhage (SSH), are diverse. SSH is a detrimental neurosurgical event requiring immediate medical attention. We aimed to investigate the association between SARS-CoV-2 and SSH and delineate a rational clinical approach. The authors searched PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for studies published up to January 25, 2023, on SSH and SARS-CoV-2 infection. For each dataset, the authors performed pooled estimates examining three outcomes of interest: (1) early post-intervention neurological status, (2) mortality, and (3) post-intervention neurological rehabilitation outcomes. After reviewing 1341 results, seven datasets were identified for the final analysis. Fifty-seven percent of patients were females. Twenty-eight percent of the patients experienced severe systemic infection. The mean interval between the SARS-CoV-2 infection and neurological presentation was 18 days. Pain and sensorimotor deficits were the most common (57%). Spinal epidural hematoma (EDH) was the most common presentation (71.4%). Three patients were treated conservatively, while 4 received neurosurgical intervention. Pain and sensorimotor deficits had the best treatment response (100%), while the sphincter had the worst response (0%). Long-term follow-up showed that 71% of patients had good recovery. SARS-CoV-2-associated SSH is a rare complication of infection, with an often insidious presentation that requires high clinical suspicion. Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and new neurological symptoms or disproportionate neck or back pain require a neuroaxis evaluation. Neurosurgical intervention and conservative management are both viable options to treat SSH following COVID-19. Still, a homogenous approach to the treatment paradigm of SSH cannot be obtained, but lesions with space-occupying effects are suitable for neurosurgical evacuation-decompression while more indolent lesions could be treated conservatively. These options should be tailored individually until larger studies provide a consensus.

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