COVID-19 psychosis versus psychosis due to cytotoxic lesion of the corpus callosum (CLOCC): A case report and review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Psychiatry research case reports








Covid-19; Cytotoxic lesions of corpus callosum; Delirium; Psychosis


BACKGROUND: Cytotoxic lesions of the corpus callosum syndrome (CLOCC) is an inflammatory disorder caused by various etiologies such as medications, malignancies, seizure, metabolic abnormalities, and infections, especially COVID-19. It presents on MRI as an area of restricted diffusion in the corpus callosum. We present a case of psychosis and CLOCC in a patient with mild active COVID-19 infection. CASE: A 25-year-old male with a history of asthma and unclear past psychiatric history presented to the emergency room with shortness of breath, chest pain, and disorganized behavior. His-COVID-19 PCR was negative, and he was voluntarily admitted to psychiatry for management of unspecified psychosis. Overnight, he spiked a fever and was diaphoretic with headache and altered mental status. Repeat COVID-19 PCR at this time was positive and cycle threshold indicated infectivity. A brain MRI showed a new restricted diffusion within the midline of the splenium of the corpus callosum. Lumbar puncture was unremarkable. He continued to have flat affect and exhibit disorganized behavior with unspecified grandiosity, unclear auditory hallucinations, echopraxia, and poor attention and working memory. He was started on risperidone, with an MRI after 8 days showing complete resolution of the lesion in the corpus callosum and symptoms. CONCLUSION: This case discusses diagnostic difficulties and treatment options for a patient presenting with psychotic symptoms and disorganized behavior in the context of active COVID-19 infection and CLOCC and highlights differences between delirium, COVID-19 psychosis and neuropsychiatric symptoms of CLOCC. Future research directions are also discussed.


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences