Overall, they said, there are three reasons why gathering neuroimages can be harder in this environment. First, they reported, the neurological complications, including delirium, encephalopathy, inflammatory neuropathy, and autonomic dysfunction, may not necessarily be associated with abnormalities seen on neuroimaging. Second, patient isolation combined with the need for strict precautions and stringent disinfection protocols may have limited the ability to conduct detailed neurological exams, as well as neuroimaging, particularly MRI. Third, critically ill patients are frequently intubated, making transport difficult and underdiagnosis possible. And, lastly, these patients are also often unconscious, making the identification of new neurological complications less likely.
“Our study also highlights the fact there is restricted use of neuroimaging in COVID-19 patients due to multiple logistical constraints, including the severity of their illness and the concern of spread of infection by imaging,” the team wrote.