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Abstract Details

Headache during SARS-CoV-2 infection as an early symptom associated with mild inflammation and pulmonary disease: a retrospective cohort study
Headache Posters (7:00 AM-5:00 PM)

Previous studies have demonstrated that headache is an important neurological manifestation during SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, little is known about the characteristics of COVID-19 patients that exhibit headache. 

We aim to characterize this symptom and identify factors associated with headache in COVID-19. 

This retrospective study includes COVID-19 patients with headache hospitalized during March 2020. Controls comprise COVID-19 patients without headache. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were obtained from the medical records. Headache characteristics were evaluated by semi-structured telephonic interview after discharge.


Of a total of 379 COVID-19 patients, 48 (13%) developed headache. Among these, 30 (62%) were men and the median age was 57.9 (47-73) years. Headache was associated with younger age, less comorbidities and reduced mortality, as well as with low levels of C-Reactive Protein, mild acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and oropharyngeal symptoms. A logistic multiple regression model revealed that headache was directly associated with D-dimer and creatinine levels, the use of high flow nasal cannula and arthromyalgia, while urea levels, beta-lactamic treatment and hypertension were negatively associated with headache. COVID-19-associated headache characteristics were available in 23/48 (48%) patients. Headache was the onset symptom in 8/20 (40%), of mild or moderate intensity in 17/20 (85%) patients, with oppressive characteristics in 17/18 (94%) and holocranial 8/19 (42%) or temporal 7/19 (37%) localization.

Our results show that headache is associated with mild pulmonary disease and inflammation during SARS-CoV-2 infection. COVID-19-associated headache appears in most cases as an early symptom and as a novel headache with characteristics of headache attributed to systemic viral infection. Further research addressing the underlying mechanisms to confirm these findings is warranted.
Alicia Gonzalez-Martinez, MD (Hospital Universitario de La Princesa )
Dr. Gonzalez-Martinez has nothing to disclose.
Victor Fanjul Victor Fanjul has nothing to disclose.
Carmen Ramos Carmen Ramos has nothing to disclose.
Jorge Serrano (Hospital de La Princesa) Jorge Serrano has nothing to disclose.
Marta Bustamante (Hospital Universitario de la Princesa) Marta Bustamante has nothing to disclose.
Almudena Villa (Hospital La Princesa) Almudena Villa has nothing to disclose.
Claudia Varela Claudia Varela has nothing to disclose.
Yaiza Garcia Del Alamo (No) Yaiza García Del Álamo has nothing to disclose.
Jose A. Vivancos Mora No disclosure on file
Ana Beatriz Gago Veiga Ana Beatriz Gago Veiga has nothing to disclose.