Journal article Open Access

Acute transverse myelitis in a HIV-positive patient with COVID-19

Nemtan, Victor; Hacina, Evghenia; Topciu, Galina; Manole, Elena; Lisnic, Vitalie; Thurnher, Majda; Von Kummer, Rüdiger

Background: Immunocompromised status keeps on being a challenge for a physician, especially in the context of the coronavirus disease – 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. The predominant clinical presentations are related to the respiratory system, but neurological manifestations are recognized increasingly. Cases of myelitis associated with the new coronavirus infection have already been published, but no cases of HIV-positive patients with myelitis and COVID-19 have been reported yet.

Material and methods: This study described a clinical case of a human-immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – positive patient, who developed an acute transverse myelitis with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Results: Magnetic Resonance Imaging examination showed longitudinally extensive spinal cord abnormality, and laboratory tests confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. The patient responded to methylprednisolone pulse therapy, followed by oral corticosteroids and therapeutic plasma exchange.

Conclusions: Continuing pandemic and the expectation that a large part of the world population will be infected suggest that the number of patients with neurological manifestations could become large. Curious neurologic constellations can appear which complicate the diagnostic process and treatment in certain patients.

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