This study has quantified corneal sub-basal nerve plexus morphology and dendritic cell (DC) density in patients with and without long COVID.
Results: The mean time after the diagnosis of COVID-19 was 3.7±1.5 months. Patients with neurological symptoms 4 weeks after acute COVID-19 had a lower CNFD, CNBD, and CNFL, and increased DC density compared with controls, while patients without neurological symptoms had comparable corneal nerve parameters, but increased DC density.
Conclusion Corneal confocal microscopy identifies corneal small nerve fibre loss and increased DCs in patients with long COVID, especially those with neurological symptoms. CCM could be used to objectively identify patients with long COVID.