Peripheral neurological complications during COVID-19: A single center experience

Nara Miriam Michaelson, Ashwin Malhotra, Zehui Wang, Linda Heier, Kurenai Tanji, Scott Wolfe, Alka Gupta, Daniel MacGowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background and aims: We highlight the peripheral neurologic complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), an ongoing global health emergency. Methods: We evaluated twenty-five patients admitted to the COVID-19 Recovery Unit (CRU) at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell University Medical Center after intensive care hospitalization with confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), whom neurology was consulted for weakness and/or paresthesias. All patients were clinically evaluated by a neuromuscular neurologist who performed electrodiagnostic (EDX) studies when indicated. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the affected regions, along with nerve and muscle biopsies were obtained in select patients to better elucidate the underlying diagnosis. Results: We found fourteen out of twenty-five patients with prolonged hospitalization for COVID-19 infection to have peripheral neurological complications, identified as plexopathies, peripheral neuropathies and entrapment neuropathies. The other eleven patients were not found to have peripheral neurologic causes for their symptoms. Patients with peripheral neurological complications often exhibited more than one type of concurrently. Specifically, there were four cases of plexopathies, nine cases of entrapment neuropathies, and six cases of peripheral neuropathies, which included cranial neuropathy, sciatic neuropathy, and multiple mononeuropathies. Conclusions: We explore the possibility that the idiopathic peripheral neurologic complications could be manifestations of the COVID-19 disease spectrum, possibly resulting from micro-thrombotic induced nerve ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120118
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachial plexopathy
  • COVID-19
  • Entrapment neuropathy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • RA02
  • SARS-CoV-2


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