Encephalitis associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus: A case report

Fenne Vandervorst, Kaat Guldolf, Ilse Peeters, Tim Vanderhasselt, Kathleen Michiels, Kinge Johanna Berends, Johan Van Laethem, Lissa Pipeleers, Stefanie Vincken, Laura Seynaeve, Sebastiaan Engelborghs

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) usually causes fever, respiratory symptoms, malaise and myalgia. Recent observations suggested possible neurological complications of COVID-19, including the first report of suspected viral encephalitis. We report a case of a 29-year-old male with -on nasopharyngeal testing- confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection with severe respiratory symptoms, followed by clinical and radiological signs of encephalitis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain showed an asymmetric FLAIR-hyperintensity of the left medial temporal cortex associated with mild gyral expansion. Lumbar puncture was normal and PCR's for SARS-CoV-2 virus on CSF were negative. Clinicians treating SARS-CoV-2 infected patients should be aware of possible neurological complications, like encephalitis. The diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 encephalitis is difficult as CSF analysis may be normal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100821
JournalInterdisciplinary neurosurgery : Advanced techniques and case management
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V.


  • COVID-19
  • Encephalitis
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Neurological complications
  • SARS-CoV-2.


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