Brain MRI findings in COVID-19 patients with PRES: A systematic review

Rubaya Yeahia, Javin Schefflein, Patrick Chiarolanzio, Anna Rozenstein, William Gomes, Sana Ali, Hasit Mehta, Fawaz Al-Mufti, Andrew McClelland, Edwin Gulko

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Numerous case reports and case series have described brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) findings in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with concurrent posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). Purpose: We aim to compile and analyze brain MRI findings in patients with COVID-19 disease and PRES. Methods: PubMed and Embase were searched on April 5th, 2021 using the terms “COVID-19”, “PRES”, “SARS-CoV-2” for peer-reviewed publications describing brain MRI findings in patients 21 years of age or older with evidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and PRES. Results: Twenty manuscripts were included in the analysis, which included descriptions of 30 patients. The average age was 57 years old. Twenty-four patients (80%) required mechanical ventilation. On brain MRI examinations, 15 (50%) and 7 (23%) of patients exhibited superimposed foci of hemorrhage and restricted diffusion respectively. Conclusions: PRES is a potential neurological complication of COVID-19 related disease. COVID-19 patients with PRES may exhibit similar to mildly greater rates of superimposed hemorrhage compared to non-COVID-19 PRES patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Imaging
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • MRI brain
  • PRES

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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