A Prospective Study of Neurologic Disorders in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19 in New York City

Jennifer A. Frontera, Sakinah Sabadia, Rebecca Lalchan, Taolin Fang, Brent Flusty, Patricio Millar-Vernetti, Thomas Snyder, Stephen Berger, Dixon Yang, Andre Granger, Nicole Morgan, Palak Patel, Josef Gutman, Kara Melmed, Shashank Agarwal, Matthew Bokhari, Andres Andino, Eduard Valdes, Mirza Omari, Alexandra KvernlandKaitlyn Lillemoe, Sherry H.Y. Chou, Molly McNett, Raimund Helbok, Shraddha Mainali, Ericka L. Fink, Courtney Robertson, Michelle Schober, Jose I. Suarez, Wendy Ziai, David Menon, Daniel Friedman, David Friedman, Manisha Holmes, Joshua Huang, Sujata Thawani, Jonathan Howard, Nada Abou-Fayssal, Penina Krieger, Ariane Lewis, Aaron S. Lord, Ting Zhou, D. Ethan Kahn, Barry M. Czeisler, Jose Torres, Shadi Yaghi, Koto Ishida, Erica Scher, Adam De Havenon, Dimitris Placantonakis, Mengling Liu, Thomas Wisniewski, Andrea B. Troxel, Laura Balcer, Steven Galetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


ObjectiveTo determine the prevalence and associated mortality of well-defined neurologic diagnoses among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we prospectively followed hospitalized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-positive patients and recorded new neurologic disorders and hospital outcomes.MethodsWe conducted a prospective, multicenter, observational study of consecutive hospitalized adults in the New York City metropolitan area with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. The prevalence of new neurologic disorders (as diagnosed by a neurologist) was recorded and in-hospital mortality and discharge disposition were compared between patients with COVID-19 with and without neurologic disorders.ResultsOf 4,491 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized during the study timeframe, 606 (13.5%) developed a new neurologic disorder in a median of 2 days from COVID-19 symptom onset. The most common diagnoses were toxic/metabolic encephalopathy (6.8%), seizure (1.6%), stroke (1.9%), and hypoxic/ischemic injury (1.4%). No patient had meningitis/encephalitis or myelopathy/myelitis referable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and 18/18 CSF specimens were reverse transcriptase PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2. Patients with neurologic disorders were more often older, male, white, hypertensive, diabetic, intubated, and had higher sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores (all p < 0.05). After adjusting for age, sex, SOFA scores, intubation, history, medical complications, medications, and comfort care status, patients with COVID-19 with neurologic disorders had increased risk of in-hospital mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.17-1.62, p < 0.001) and decreased likelihood of discharge home (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.63-0.85, p < 0.001).ConclusionsNeurologic disorders were detected in 13.5% of patients with COVID-19 and were associated with increased risk of in-hospital mortality and decreased likelihood of discharge home. Many observed neurologic disorders may be sequelae of severe systemic illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E575-E586
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 26 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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