A large spectrum of neurological manifestations has been associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and recently, the involvement of small fibers has been suggested. This study aims to investigate the involvement of small peripheral nervous fibers in recovered COVID-19 patients using in-vivo corneal confocal microscopy (CCM). Patients recovered from COVID-19 and a control group of healthy subjects underwent in-vivo CCM. Corneal nerve fiber density (CNFD), corneal nerve branch density (CNBD), corneal nerve fiber length (CNFL), corneal nerve fiber total branch density (CTBD), corneal nerve fiber area (CNFA), corneal nerve fiber width (CNFW), fiber tortuosity (FT), number of beadings (NBe), and dendritic cells (DC) density were quantified. We enrolled 302 eyes of 151 patients. CNBD and FT were significantly higher (p = 0.0131, p < 0.0001), whereas CNFW and NBe were significantly lower (p = 0.0056, p = 0.0045) in the COVID-19 group compared to controls. Only CNBD and FT resulted significantly correlated to antiviral drugs (increased) and corticosteroids (decreased). No significant relationship with disease severity parameters was found. COVID-19 may induce peripheral neuropathy in small fibers even months after recovery, regardless of systemic conditions and therapy, and CCM may be a useful tool to identify and monitor these morphological changes.

Small Fibre Peripheral Alterations Following COVID-19 Detected by Corneal Confocal Microscopy

Midena, Edoardo;Cosmo, Eleonora;Cattelan, Anna Maria;Briani, Chiara;Tabacchi, Vanessa;Parrozzani, Raffaele;Midena, Giulia;Frizziero, Luisa
2022

Abstract

A large spectrum of neurological manifestations has been associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and recently, the involvement of small fibers has been suggested. This study aims to investigate the involvement of small peripheral nervous fibers in recovered COVID-19 patients using in-vivo corneal confocal microscopy (CCM). Patients recovered from COVID-19 and a control group of healthy subjects underwent in-vivo CCM. Corneal nerve fiber density (CNFD), corneal nerve branch density (CNBD), corneal nerve fiber length (CNFL), corneal nerve fiber total branch density (CTBD), corneal nerve fiber area (CNFA), corneal nerve fiber width (CNFW), fiber tortuosity (FT), number of beadings (NBe), and dendritic cells (DC) density were quantified. We enrolled 302 eyes of 151 patients. CNBD and FT were significantly higher (p = 0.0131, p < 0.0001), whereas CNFW and NBe were significantly lower (p = 0.0056, p = 0.0045) in the COVID-19 group compared to controls. Only CNBD and FT resulted significantly correlated to antiviral drugs (increased) and corticosteroids (decreased). No significant relationship with disease severity parameters was found. COVID-19 may induce peripheral neuropathy in small fibers even months after recovery, regardless of systemic conditions and therapy, and CCM may be a useful tool to identify and monitor these morphological changes.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3454254
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact