Background: SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is a new human pathogen, and currently, the world has been plagued by its pandemic and there are no specific treatment options, mostly affects the respiratory system, ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), but extra respiratory multi-systemic involvement has also been reported.
Case presentation: A 63-yr-old Caucasian male veteran (retired army colonel), known case of controlled Type 2 diabetes, chronic renal failure and ischemic heart disease, about 4 days after the onset of flu-like syndrome (with no trauma history) experienced loss of control over both lower limbs, absent sensation from the chest below with constipation and urinary retention. Due to world SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) outbreak, his nasopharyngeal specimen was tested for COVID-19 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and positive result obtained. Chest x-ray and HRCT suggested severe pulmonary involvement. Immediately, he was admitted at emergency ward, treated based national COVID-19 protocol and a series of diagnostic procedures were started up to find out the cause of his non-heterogeneous peripheral (spinal) neuromuscular manifestations. Brain CT scan and MRI were normal, but spinal MRI with gadolinium contrast agent showing extensive increased T2 signal involves central grey matter and dorsal columns, extension between C7 and T12 with linear sagittally oriented enhancement posteriorly within the cord in the mid and lower thoracic cord. The CSF specimen obtained from LP shown pleocytosis, positive RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 and elevated IgG index. Clinical presentations, MRI, CSF and laboratory findings, after ruled out the other numerous possible causes with specific methods, suggested the Acute Transverse Myelitis (ATM) as a probably complication of COVID-19 infection. Intravenous methylprednisolone and then human immunoglobulin was added to treatment regimen. At the end, complete resolution of dysaesthesia, urinary retention and constipation were achieved. After continuous and long respiratory and motor rehabilitation programs, he was discharged home asymptomatic.
Conclusions: We believe that SARS-CoV-2 has a potential to produces different extra respiratory multi-systemic involvement as immune-mediated process and complexes, and this should be kept in mind whenever encounter a patient with acute onset of neurological manifestations, especially after microbial infections or vaccinations.