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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A 23-Year-Old Man with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Who Presented with Auditory Hallucinations and Imaging Findings of Cytotoxic Lesions of the Corpus Callosum (CLOCC)

Unusual clinical course

Walid Elkhaled, Fatma Ben Abid, Naveed Akhtar, Mohamed R. Abukamar, Wanis H. Ibrahim

Qatar Mental Health Services, Department of Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e928798

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.928798

Available online: 2020-11-06

Published: 2020-12-14


BACKGROUND: Cytotoxic lesions of the corpus callosum (CLOCC) is a rare clinical and radiological syndrome that has been associated with various infectious etiologies. CLOCC are among the recently described neurological associations with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We report a case of CLOCC in a man with SARS-CoV-2 infection who presented with auditory hallucinations and rapidly developed systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).
CASE REPORT: A 23-year-old man with no past medical and psychiatric history presented with auditory hallucinations, restlessness, and suicidal ideations. A nasopharyngeal swab specimen tested using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was positive for SARS-CoV-2. A brain MRI revealed an isolated oval-shaped lesion in the splenium of the corpus callosum, with hyperintense signal on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and hypointense on apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps, suggestive of CLOCC. After a dramatic hospital course associated with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and severe intra-abdominal and cerebral bleeding, he developed cardiac arrest and died on hospital day 15.
CONCLUSIONS: This case highlights the need for increased vigilance for the atypical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, it suggests that CLOCC can be considered as a differential diagnosis by clinicians in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection who present with unexplained neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms, leading to poor outcome.

Keywords: Coronavirus, Corpus Callosum, COVID-19, Neurotoxicity Syndromes