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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2020 December;56(6):853-7

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06452-7

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Cranial nerves impairment in post-acute oropharyngeal dysphagia after COVID-19

Angela CAVALAGLI 1 , Greta PEITI 2, Corrado CONTI 1, Rachele PENATI 1, Francesca VAVASSORI 2, Giovanni TAVEGGIA 2

1 Department of Clinical-Surgical, Diagnostic and Pediatric Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 2 Department of Rehabilitation, Habilita Care and Research Hospitals, Clinical Institute of Sarnico, Sarnico, Bergamo, Italy



BACKGROUND: According to literature, after COVID-19, patients may require rehabilitation care because of different degrees of physical impairments. Neurologic disorders are often described but no specific data about postacute cranial nerves involvement and possible correlation with dysphagia development are yet available.
CASE REPORT: The patient is a 69-year-old man who presented acquired weakness and dysphagia with clinical cranial nerves impairment of lingual, IX, X and XII after SARS-CoV-2 infection, without electrophysiological alterations. He underwent rehabilitation program for two months, with slow recovery. However, at discharge residual hypoglossal nerve deficit sign was present.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: This single case expands knowledge about clinical picture after SARS-CoV-2 disease. Is important to notice that cranial, particularly bulbar nerves could be involved as late complications. Thus, we discuss about risk factors, the nature of the damage and the impact in dysphagia pathophysiology and recovery. If supported by further studies, this case may help to understand dysphagia features in these patients.


KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; Cranial nerves; Case reports; Deglutition disorder

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