Table_1_Neurologic Characteristics in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.docx
Importance: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a newly emerging infectious disease that has caused a global pandemic. The presenting symptoms are mainly respiratory symptom, yet studies have reported nervous system involvement in the disease. A systematic review and meta-analysis of these studies are required to understanding the neurologic characteristic of the disease and help physicians with early diagnosis and management.
Objective: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on the neurologic characteristics in patients with COVID-19.
Evidence Review: Authors conducted a literature search through PubMed from January 1st, 2020 to April 8th, 2020. Furthermore, the authors added additional sources by reviewing related references. Studies presenting the neurologic features of COVID-19 patients in their data were included. Case reports and case series were also included in this review. The quality of the studies was assessed based on the Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine guidelines. Selected studies were included in the meta-analysis of proportion and the heterogeneity test.
Finding: From 280 identified studies, 33 were eligible, with 7,559 participants included. Most of the included studies were from China (29 [88%]). Muscle injury or myalgia was the most common (19.2%, 95%CI 15.4–23.2%) neurologic symptom of COVID-19, followed by headache (10.9%, 95%CI 8.62–13.51%); dizziness (8.7%, 95%CI 5.02–13.43%); nausea with or without vomiting (4.6%, 95%CI 3.17–6.27%); concurrent cerebrovascular disease (4.4%, 95%CI 1.92–7.91%); and impaired consciousness (3.8%, 95%CI 0.16–12.04%). Underlying cerebrovascular disease was found in 8.5% (95%CI 4.5–13.5%) of the studies.
Conclusion: Neurologic findings vary from non-specific to specific symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Some severe symptoms or diseases can present in the later stage of the disease. Physicians should be aware of the presence of neurologic signs and symptoms as a chief complaint of COVID-19, in order to improve management and prevent a worsening outcome of the patients.