COVID-19-Associated Acute Brain Dysfunction Related to Sepsis

Dao Ming Tong, Ye Ting Zhou, Yuan Wei Wang


In global term, as of November 30, 2020, over 30 million people has been infected by a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and more than 10,000,000 of them died of acute organ failure. Our reviews have shown that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have life-threatening acute brain dysfunction (ABD), ranging from altered mental status/delirium to stupor/coma. Altered mental status/delirium was the most common manifestation of ABD caused by severe COVID-19. The prevalence of altered mental status and/or delirium was up to 66-79.5%, and prevalence of coma was 10%. The most common clinical type of COVID-19-associated ABD was COVID-19-associated acute stroke including ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke (n > 350 cases), followed by COVID-19-associated encephalopathy (n > 200 cases), and COVID-19-associated central nervous system (CNS) infection (n > 70 cases). According to the Sepsis-3 criteria, we confess that severe COVID-19-associated ABD with ARDS and altered mental status is related to sepsis. Moreover, we also review the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19-associated ABD with sepsis. In view of the fact that COVID-19 is at the peak of epidemic worldwide, we hope that this review will provide evidence of COVID-19 sepsis threating to the brain dysunction. Thus, recognizing the COVID-19-associated ABD related to sepsis is very important for early empirical combination therapy to survive severe COVID-19.

J Clin Med Res. 2021;13(2):82-91


COVID-19; Sepsis; Brain dysfunction; CNS infection; Encephalopathy; Mechanisms; Outcome

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