The impact of SARS-CoV-2 on skeletal muscles

Maria Rita De Giorgio 1,2, Stefania Di Noia 2,3, Cinzia Morciano 1,2, Diana Conte 4,5

1 Rare Diseases Network, ASL Lecce, Italy; 2 Ethics Committee’s Scientific Secreteriat, ASL Lecce, Italy; 3 Public Health Service, Prevention Department, ASL Lecce, Italy; 4 School of Pharmacology, University of Bari, Italy; 5 Chair of Ethics Committee, ASL Lecce, Italy

In 2019-2020, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has shocked the world and most health care systems, and a “second wave” of the viral spread is ongoing in Europe and in Italy too. While, at the initial outbreak, the treatment of patients had focused on the respiratory symptoms, many diverse clinical manifestations of the disease have to date been reported. However, the complete course of the disease has not yet been fully clarified. In particular, several reports from the real-world clinical practice have highlighted the noxious effects of SARS-CoV-2 on skeletal muscles. In this brief review, we summarized the main current findings about muscular and neuromuscular damages that may be triggered by the virus or by the drugs used to treat COVID-19. Moreover, we underlined the need of attentive care and vigilance for patients with neuro-muscular disorders, who may be particularly susceptible to infection and at increased risk for severe COVID-19. 

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