Lumbosacral Radiculoplexus Neuropathy (LRPN) is a subacute, painful, paralytic, asymmetric immune-mediated lower-limb neuropathy associated with weight loss and diabetes mellitus (called DLRPN). Approximately one-third of LRPN cases have a trigger. Our purpose is to show that COVID-19 can trigger LRPN.
We describe the clinical, neurophysiological, radiologic, and pathologic findings of a 55-year-old man who developed DLRPN after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection. Shortly after mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the patient developed severe neuropathic pain (allodynia), postural orthostasis, fatigue, weight loss, and weakness of bilateral lower extremities requiring wheelchair assistance. One month after COVID-19, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Neurological examination showed bilateral severe proximal and distal lower extremity weakness, absent tendon reflexes, and pan-modality sensation loss. Electrophysiology demonstrated an asymmetric axonal lumbosacral and thoracic radiculoplexus neuropathies. Magnetic resonance imaging showed enlargement and T2 hyperintensity of the lumbosacral plexus. Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) showed an elevated protein (138 mg/dL). Right sural nerve biopsy was diagnostic of nerve microvasculitis. He was diagnosed with DLRPN and treated with intravenous methylprednisolone 1 g weekly for 12 weeks. The patient had marked improvement in pain, weakness, and lightheadedness and at the 3-month follow-up was walking unassisted.
COVID-19 can trigger postinfectious inflammatory neuropathies including LRPN.