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2022 May




COVID-19 Vaccine-Induced Parsonage-Turner Syndrome: A Case Report and Literature Review.


Amjad M A, Hamid Z, Patel Y, Husain M, Saddique A, Liaqat A, Ochieng P
Cureus. 2022 May; 14(5):e25493.
PMID: 35783889.


All modern vaccines share the risk of neurological adverse effects. Only a few cases of Parsonage-Turner syndrome (PTS), an uncommon peripheral nerve condition associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) immunization, have been reported to date. We describe a case of COVID-19 vaccine-induced PTS and provide a brief literature review. A 78-year-old male non-smoker with a medical history of coronary artery disease presented with non-exertional, constant chest pain for one hour and new onset of bilateral hand weakness for three days. He had no neurological disease or allergies and denied any recent trauma or infection. Three weeks before the onset of the symptoms, the patient received a second dose of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine, which was administered 21 days after the first dose. Physical examination was significant for weakness in right-hand grip and wrist flexion. There were no other motor deficits, upper motor neuron signs, bulbar weakness, or sensory deficits. Diagnostic workup for the underlying diabetes mellitus, infections, or other autoimmune diseases was negative. Imaging workup revealed no demyelination, fracture deformity, traumatic subluxation, or compressive myelopathy. Nerve conduction studies, including needle electromyography, showed decreased motor unit recruitment in the bilateral first dorsal interosseous and right deltoid, biceps, and triceps muscles confirming PTS. The patient was treated with 40 mg/day of oral prednisone and occupational therapy to maintain range of motion and activities of daily living. PTS is also known as neuralgic amyotrophy, brachial plexus neuritis, brachial plexopathy, and shoulder-girdle syndrome. It is characterized by asymmetrical, chronic, resistant upper extremity neuropathic pain and neurological defects such as paralysis and paresthesia. There are two different types of PTS: non-hereditary and inherited. The etiology and pathophysiology of PTS are not fully understood. Various aspects such as genetic, environmental, and immunological predisposition may play a role in developing the syndrome. Infections, vaccines, and injuries are typical causes of non-hereditary forms. After the COVID-19 epidemic and the commencement of a global immunization effort, similar instances happened. Presently there is no available test that unequivocally confirms or excludes PTS itself. Electrodiagnostic study and imaging modalities help to rule out other differential diagnoses. Also, there is no specific treatment available; however, it may resolve independently of treatment with supportive care.