Brain morphological changes in covid-19

The aim of the study was to identify the pathomorphology of brain damage in patients who died of COVID-19. Material and methods. Autopsy reports and autopsy brain material of 17 deceased patients with pre-mortem confirmed COVID-19 infection were analyzed. Fatal cases in which COVID-19 was the major cause of death were included in the study. Five people were diagnosed with cerebral infarction. Organ samples were taken for histological examination during autopsy. Sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and by Nissl to assess brain histopathology. To study the vascular basal membranes the PAS reaction was used, to detect fibrin in vessels phosphotungstic acid-hematoxylin (PTAH) staining was used, to determine DNA in nuclei sections were stained according to Feulgen, to detect RNA in neuronal nuclei and cytoplasm sections were stained with methyl green-pyronin. Immunohistochemical study of a neuronal marker, nuclear protein NeuN, was performed to assess neuronal damage. Results. The signs of neuronal damage found in patients who died of COVID-19 included nonspecific changes of nerve cells (acute swelling, retrograde degeneration, karyolysis and cytolysis, ‘ghost' cells, neuronophagia and satellitosis) and signs of circulatory disorders (perivascular and pericellular edema, diapedesis, congested and engorged microvasculature). Conclusion. Brain histopathological data indicate damage to the central nervous system in COVID-19 patients. Ischemic stroke in patients with COVID-19 is mostly caused by a combination of hypoxia resulting from respiratory failure and individual risk factors, including cerebrovascular atherosclerosis and hypertension. © 2021, V.A. Negovsky Research Institute of General Reanimatology. All rights reserved.

Babkina A.S. 1, 2 , Golubev A.M. 1, 2 , Ostrova I.V.1 , Volkov A.V. 1, 2, 3 , Kuzovlev A.N.1
V.A. Negovsky Research Institute of General Reanimatology
Номер выпуска
  • 1 V. A. Negovsky Research Institute of General Reanimatology, Federal Research and Clinical Center of Intensive Care Medicine and Rehabilitology, 25 Petrovka Str., 2 bldg, Moscow, 10703, Russian Federation
  • 2 Peoples Friendship University of Russia, 6 Miklukho-Maklaya Str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 3 E. O. Mukhin State Clinical Hospital, Moscow Healthcare Department, 17 Federativny Prospekt, Moscow, 111399, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Brain; COVID-19; Ischemic stroke; Morphology; NeuN; Neurotropic action of SARS-CoV-2 virus
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Другие записи

Maleyev V.V., Tokmalaev A.K., Kozhevnikova G.M., Golub V.P., Polovinkina N.A., Kharlamova T.V., Konnov V.V., Barysheva I.V., Emerole K.Ch.
Infektsionnye Bolezni. Dynasty Publishing House. Том 19. 2021. С. 110-118