Respiratory Distress in SARS-CoV-2 without Lung Damage: Phrenic Paralysis Should Be Considered in COVID-19 Infection
KeywordsCOVID-19, respiratory distress, phrenic paralysis, neurotropism
We describe an overweight COVID-19 patient with respiratory distress preceded by anosmia/dysgeusia with no lung injury shown on CT, angio-CT or ventilation/perfusion scans. Orthopnoea and paradoxical abdominal respiration were identified. Phrenic paralysis, demonstrated by examination of patient breathing, and on x-ray while standing breathing in and out, explained the respiratory distress. This is a rare and previously undescribed neurological complication of COVID-19 infection caused by vagus nerve injury.
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