Background Emergence of the novel corona virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2) in December 2019 has led to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of COVID-19 involvement in the central nervous system is not well established, and the presence or the absence of SARS-CoV-2 particles in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a topic of debate.
Case description We present two patients with COVID-19 and concurrent neurological symptoms. Our first patient is a 31-year-old man who had flu-like symptoms due to COVID-19 and later developed an acute-onset severe headache and loss of consciousness and was diagnosed with a Hunt and Hess grade 3 subarachnoid haemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm. Our second patient is a 62-year-old woman who had an ischaemic stroke with massive haemorrhagic conversion requiring a decompressive hemicraniectomy. Both patients’ CSF was repeatedly negative on real-time PCR analysis despite concurrent neurological disease.
Conclusion Our report shows that patients’ CSF may be devoid of viral particles even when they test positive for COVID-19 on a nasal swab. Whether SARS-CoV-2 is present in CSF may depend on the systemic disease severity and the degree of the virus’ nervous tissue tropism and should be examined in future studies.
- subarachnoid haemorrhage
- infectious diseases
- cerebrovascular disease
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Contributors FAS and RG: conceptualisation and methodology; SP, ZW, NM, RG, AL, MBA, RFS, TT, NM, LP, FR, SIT, PJ and RHR: data curation and formal analysis; RG: study supervision; FAS and LP: visualisation; FAS: original draft preparation;All authors: writing, review and editing.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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