News: Microvascular brain injury seen in COVID-19 pathologies
While researches found no detection of the COVID-19 virus in brain tissue samples, they did find abnormalities in 10 of 13 deceased patients studied, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study found damage caused by thinning and leaking brain blood vessels on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Punctate hyperintensities were shown in nine patients, which “represented areas of microvascular injury and fibrinogen leakage.”
While the COVID-19 virus was not detected in the brain tissue samples, researchers note that it is possible the virus had cleared by the time of death, or that the viral levels were below the level of detection.
The findings may inform the MRI interpretations but researchers noted that the limited clinical information makes it difficult to draw conclusions related to neurologic COVID outcomes. Nevertheless, the study provides potentially important information on the long-term damage to brain structures due to the virus, the report states.