Cranial nerve involvement in COVID-19

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COVID-19, an ongoing global pandemics caused by the infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus, is still unexplored disease. Many organs and organ systems may be affected.

The involvement of cranial nerves in COVID-19 is increasingly recognized. The article published in BJBMS summarized the recent advances concerning the clinical presentation, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 associated cranial nerve mononeuropathies or polyneuropathies.

Cranial nerves can be affected in COVID-19 with or without the concomitant affection of peripheral nerves. The study showed that the cranial nerve involvement may be unilateral or bilateral. A single or multiple cranial nerves may be compromised. Bilateral involvement is more frequent than unilateral if peripheral nerves are additionally involved.

Treatment of cranial nerve neuropathy includes steroids, intravenous immunoglobulins, acyclovir/valacyclovir, or plasma exchange. The authors concluded that the outcome of cranial nerve involvement in COVID-19 is usually fair, but incomplete recovery is more frequent than complete recovery.


Finsterer J, Scorza FA, Scorza C, Fiorini A. COVID-19 associated cranial nerve neuropathy: A systematic review. Bosn J of Basic Med Sci. 2021Aug.11. Available from:

Editor: Edna Skopljak, MD


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