Brain magnetic resonance imaging findings in children with neurological complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (Omicron variant): a multicenter retrospective observational study.

Publication date: Mar 28, 2024

An increasing rate of encephalopathy associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been observed among children. However, the literature on neuroimaging data in children with COVID-19 is limited. To analyze brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of pediatric COVID-19 patients with neurological complications. This multicenter retrospective observational study analyzed clinical (n=102, 100%) and neuroimaging (n=93, 91. 2%) data of 102 children with COVID-19 infections and comorbid acute neurological symptoms. These children were hospitalized at five pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) in China between December 1, 2022, and January 31, 2023. All patients were positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as detected via reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. About 75. 7% of the children were infected with the Omicron variant BF. 7 strain. Brain MRI was performed 1-12 days following the onset of neurological symptoms, which revealed acute neuroimaging findings in 74. 2% (69/93) of cases, including evidence of acute necrotizing encephalopathy (33/69, 47. 8%), encephalitis (31/69, 44. 9%), reversible splenial lesion syndrome (3/69, 4. 3%), reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy (1/69, 1. 4%), and hippocampal atrophy (1/69, 1. 4%). Overall, these data highlighted five neuroimaging patterns associated with the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, with acute necrotizing encephalopathy being the most common of these neuroimaging findings. Rarely, the brain MRI of these pediatric COVID-19 patients also demonstrate hippocampal atrophy.

Concepts Keywords
China Brain
Coronavirus Child
Mri COVID-19
Retrospective Magnetic resonance imaging


Type Source Name
disease MESH complications
disease MESH coronavirus disease 2019
disease MESH encephalopathy
disease MESH infections
disease VO Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
disease MESH encephalitis
disease MESH syndrome
disease MESH leukoencephalopathy
disease MESH atrophy

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