OBJECTIVE:The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presents a challenge for neurologists caring for patients with preexisting neurologic conditions hospitalized for COVID-19 or for evaluation of patients who have neurologic complications during COVID-19 infection. We conducted a scoping review of the available literature on COVID-19 to assess the potential effect on neurologists in terms of prevalent comorbidities and incidence of new neurologic events in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
METHODS:We searched MEDLINE/PubMed, CINAHL (EBSCO), and Scopus databases for adult patients with preexisting neurologic disease who were diagnosed and hospitalized for COVID-19 or reported incidence of secondary neurologic events following diagnosis of COVID-19. Pooled descriptive statistics of clinical data and comorbidities were examined.
RESULTS:Among screened articles, 322 of 4,014 (8.0%) of hospitalized patients diagnosed and treated for COVID-19 had a preexisting neurologic illness. Four retrospective studies demonstrated an increased risk of secondary neurologic complications in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (incidence of 6%, 20%, and 36.4%, respectively). Inconsistent reporting and limited statistical analysis among these studies did not allow for assessment of comparative outcomes.
CONCLUSION:Emerging literature suggests a daunting clinical relationship between COVID-19 and neurologic illness. Neurologists need to be prepared to reorganize their consultative practices to serve the neurologic needs of patients during this pandemic.