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Brain Science Advances

Keywords

meningitis, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, brain trauma, intracerebral hemorrhage

Abstract

To date, only a few cases of intracranial infection related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) were reported. Here we describe a case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that was comorbid with purulent meningitis. A 62-year-old male patient was diagnosed with moderate COVID-19 and had no fever or cough after treatment. However, he suffered from a head injury and experienced headache and fever immediately after the accident. Computed tomography (CT) of the brain showed bilateral frontal lobe contusion, subdural hematoma, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. In the following days, the patient suffered from recurrent fever, although chest CT did not show evidence of worsening of infection. Several lumbar punctures were made, confirming increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure and karyocyte count. SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid was not detected in CSF but revealed the presence of Escherichia coli. Thus, the patient was diagnosed with purulent meningitis, presumably caused by brain trauma or the immunologic dysfunction caused by COVID-19, which was supported by the significant reduction of all kinds of immune cells. Since immunologic dysfunction is commonly presented in COVID-19 patients, comorbidity with meningitis should be considered when a COVID-19 patient presents with headache and fever. Lumbar punctures and CSF cultures may help in the diagnosis.

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