Background Increased serum levels of neurofilament light chain (sNFL), a biomarker of neuroaxonal damage, have been reported in patients with Covid-19. We aimed at investigating whether sNFL is increased in Covid-19 patients without major neurological manifestations, is associated with disease severity, respiratory and routine blood parameters, and changes longitudinally in the short term. Methods sNFL levels were measured with single molecule array (Simoa) technology in 57 hospitalized Covid-19 patients without major neurological manifestations and in 30 neurologically healthy controls. Patients were evaluated for PaO2/FiO2 ratio on arterial blood gas, Brescia Respiratory Covid Severity Scale (BRCSS), white blood cell counts, serum C-reactive protein (CRP), plasma D-dimer, plasma fibrinogen, and serum creatinine at admission. In 20 patients, NFL was also measured on serum samples obtained at a later timepoint during the hospital stay. Results Covid-19 patients had higher baseline sNFL levels compared to controls, regardless of disease severity. Baseline sNFL correlated with serum CRP and plasma D-dimer in patients with mild disease, but was not associated with measures of respiratory impairment. Longitudinal sNFL levels tended to be higher than baseline ones, albeit not significantly, and correlated with serum CRP and plasma D-dimer. The PaO2/FiO2 ratio was not associated with longitudinal sNFL, whereas BRCSS only correlated with longitudinal sNFL variation. Conclusions We provide neurochemical evidence of subclinical axonal damage in Covid-19 also in the absence of major neurological manifestations. This is apparently not fully explained by hypoxic injury; rather, systemic inflammation might promote this damage. However, a direct neurotoxic effect of SARS-CoV-2 cannot be excluded.

Serum neurofilament light chain levels in Covid-19 patients without major neurological manifestations / F. Verde, I. Milone, I. Bulgarelli, S. Peverelli, C. Colombrita, A. Maranzano, N. Calcagno, N. Ticozzi, G.B. Perego, G. Parati, E. Torresani, A. Ratti, V. Silani. - In: JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY. - ISSN 0340-5354. - 269:11(2022 Nov), pp. 5691-5701. [10.1007/s00415-022-11233-5]

Serum neurofilament light chain levels in Covid-19 patients without major neurological manifestations

F. Verde
Primo
;
I. Milone
Secondo
;
S. Peverelli;A. Maranzano;N. Calcagno;N. Ticozzi;A. Ratti
Penultimo
;
V. Silani
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Background Increased serum levels of neurofilament light chain (sNFL), a biomarker of neuroaxonal damage, have been reported in patients with Covid-19. We aimed at investigating whether sNFL is increased in Covid-19 patients without major neurological manifestations, is associated with disease severity, respiratory and routine blood parameters, and changes longitudinally in the short term. Methods sNFL levels were measured with single molecule array (Simoa) technology in 57 hospitalized Covid-19 patients without major neurological manifestations and in 30 neurologically healthy controls. Patients were evaluated for PaO2/FiO2 ratio on arterial blood gas, Brescia Respiratory Covid Severity Scale (BRCSS), white blood cell counts, serum C-reactive protein (CRP), plasma D-dimer, plasma fibrinogen, and serum creatinine at admission. In 20 patients, NFL was also measured on serum samples obtained at a later timepoint during the hospital stay. Results Covid-19 patients had higher baseline sNFL levels compared to controls, regardless of disease severity. Baseline sNFL correlated with serum CRP and plasma D-dimer in patients with mild disease, but was not associated with measures of respiratory impairment. Longitudinal sNFL levels tended to be higher than baseline ones, albeit not significantly, and correlated with serum CRP and plasma D-dimer. The PaO2/FiO2 ratio was not associated with longitudinal sNFL, whereas BRCSS only correlated with longitudinal sNFL variation. Conclusions We provide neurochemical evidence of subclinical axonal damage in Covid-19 also in the absence of major neurological manifestations. This is apparently not fully explained by hypoxic injury; rather, systemic inflammation might promote this damage. However, a direct neurotoxic effect of SARS-CoV-2 cannot be excluded.
Biomarker; Covid-19; Neuroaxonal damage; Neurofilament light chain (NFL); Serum;
Settore MED/26 - Neurologia
Settore MED/11 - Malattie dell'Apparato Cardiovascolare
Settore BIO/12 - Biochimica Clinica e Biologia Molecolare Clinica
4-lug-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/938949
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