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Eye Abnormalities Identified in Severe COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 -- Seven percent of patients with severe COVID-19 present with abnormal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of the globe of the eye, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Radiology.

Augustin Lecler, M.D., Ph.D., from Rothschild Foundation Hospital in Paris, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational study and examined clinical and imaging data for a multicenter cohort of 129 patients presenting with severe COVID-19 from March 4 to May 1, 2020, who underwent brain MRI.

The researchers found that nine of the patients (7 percent) had one or several fluid-attenuated inversion recovery-weighted imaging hyperintense nodules of the posterior pole of the globe. Nodules were identified in the macular region in all patients, and two patients (22 percent) had nodules outside the macular region. Eight patients (89 percent) had bilateral nodules.

"Our study advocates for screening of all patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit for severe COVID-19," Lecler said in a statement. "We believe those patients should receive specific eye-protective treatments."

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