Scientific article
Open access

Obstructive sleep apnea: a major risk factor for COVID-19 encephalopathy?

Published inBMC neurology, vol. 23, no. 1, 340
Publication date2023-09-27
First online date2023-09-27

Background: This study evaluates the impact of high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) acute encephalopathy (AE).

Methods: Between 3/1/2020 and 11/1/2021, 97 consecutive patients were evaluated at the Geneva University Hospitals with a neurological diagnosis of COVID-19 AE. They were divided in two groups depending on the presence or absence of high risk for OSA based on the modified NOSAS score (mNOSAS, respectively ≥ 8 and < 8). We compared patients' characteristics (clinical, biological, brain MRI, EEG, pulmonary CT). The severity of COVID-19 AE relied on the RASS and CAM scores.

Results: Most COVID-19 AE patients presented with a high mNOSAS, suggesting high risk of OSA (> 80%). Patients with a high mNOSAS had a more severe form of COVID-19 AE (84.8% versus 27.8%), longer mean duration of COVID-19 AE (27.9 versus 16.9 days), higher mRS at discharge (≥ 3 in 58.2% versus 16.7%), and increased prevalence of brain vessels enhancement (98.1% versus 20.0%). High risk of OSA was associated with a 14 fold increased risk of developing a severe COVID-19 AE (OR = 14.52).

Discussion: These observations suggest an association between high risk of OSA and COVID-19 AE severity. High risk of OSA could be a predisposing factor leading to severe COVID-19 AE and consecutive long-term sequalae.

  • COVID-19 encephalopathy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Diseases / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Polysomnography
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Private Foundation of the Geneva University Hospitals -
Citation (ISO format)
BREVILLE, Gautier et al. Obstructive sleep apnea: a major risk factor for COVID-19 encephalopathy? In: BMC neurology, 2023, vol. 23, n° 1, p. 340. doi: 10.1186/s12883-023-03393-2
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal1471-2377

Technical informations

Creation10/20/2023 12:44:44 PM
First validation02/07/2024 4:16:30 PM
Update time02/07/2024 4:16:30 PM
Status update02/07/2024 4:16:30 PM
Last indexation02/07/2024 4:16:30 PM
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