COVID-19 AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
In this correspondence recently published in Lancet Neurology, the authors report the results of the pilot phase of an investigation of effects of COVID-19 among Italian people with multiple sclerosis, based on a core dataset collected from treatment providers through a specifically designed web-based case report form. The core data set includes clinical and demographic characteristics, and information on disease-modifying therapies. To be included, patients had to have symptoms and signs of COVID-19 infection, with or without a positive test (RT-PCR on nasal and pharyngeal swabs). Mean follow-up was 12·6 days (SD 7·4). 232 patients from 38 centres, 57 of whom tested positive for COVID-19, and 175 of whom had suspected COVID-19 symptoms but did not have a positive test, were included. The severity of COVID-19 infection in 232 patients was classified as mild (no pneumonia or mild pneumonia) in 223 (96%), severe (shortness of breath, respiratory rates ≥30 breaths per min, blood oxygen saturation ≤93%, PaO2:FiO2 <300 mmHg/%, and an increase in lung infiltrates of >50% within 24–48 h) in four (2%), and critical (respiratory failure, septic shock, and multiple organ dysfunction or failure) in six (3%). Of the six critical patients, one recovered and five died; all had a positive swab. 21 patients had undergone a 5-day course of methylprednisolone within 3 months before the onset of COVID-19.
by Marialuisa Zedde and Francesco Cavallieri