Brain cortical changes are related to SARS-CoV-2 inflammatory biomarkers in hospitalized patients with neurological manifestations
Gretel Sanabria-Diaz1, Manina Maja Etter 2,3, Lester Melie-Garcia1,4, Johanna Maria Lieb5, Marios-Nikos Psychogios5, Gregor Hutter2,3, and Cristina Granziera1,4
1Department of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, Translational Imaging in Neurology (ThINK), University Hospital Basel and University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 2Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel and University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 3Division of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 4Neurologic Clinic and Policlinic, MS Center and Research Center for Clinical Neuroimmunology and Neuroscience Basel (RC2NB), University Hospital Basel and University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 5Department of Neuroradiology, Clinic of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
A quantitative imaging study is critical to detect cortical brain macrostructural alterations associated with an inflammatory response in hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 patients. Using automated processing of the 3D high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical images, we found a decrease of cortical gray matter volume and thickness, but not in the surface area related to increased levels in CSF protein, CSF blood/albumin ratio, and CSF EN-RAGE. The anatomical localization of these regions may be the in vivo hallmarks of the virus effect on the brain cortex due to a hyperinflammatory response and associated with neurological deficits presented in acute and post-Covid phases.
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