Researchers dig into syndrome in children linked to COVID-19

  • Researchers dig into syndrome in children linked to COVID-19

Researchers dig into syndrome in children linked to COVID-19

MIS-C, which appears in children a few weeks after they've had COVID-19, is caused by an immune response to that infection, which then triggers inflammation of organs like the heart. The second paper involved 99 children in NY state, where the first USA cases occurred.

Two U.S. research groups have reported finding almost 300 cases of an alarming apparent side effect of Covid-19 in children, a condition called multisystem inflammation syndrome, or MIS-C.

About 80% of children in the multistate study had heart-related problems, which included coronary aneurysms - a bulge in a heart artery that can be fatal.

Almost 300 cases of a rare, life-threatening syndrome in children and adolescents associated with the novel coronavirus have been identified in the United States in two studies in The New England Journal of Medicine.

A consistent picture is emerging of the syndrome occurring two to four weeks after infection by the coronavirus, Michael Levin, professor of pediatrics and worldwide child health at Imperial College London, said in an accompanying editorial.

The average age was 8 years old.

However, Levin drew attention to the issue of case definitions.

The U.K. definition of "pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2" (PIMS) released in April was followed by a narrower definition released in May by the CDC and World Health Organization for MIS-C.

These "hastily developed case definitions based on the most severe cases" might miss less serious cases, Levin noted.

"There is concern that children meeting current diagnostic criteria for MIS-C are the 'tip of the iceberg, ' and a bigger problem may be lurking below the waterline", Levin wrote.

MIS-C can usually be treated with steroids.

Of them, 95 were confirmed cases based on laboratory evidence of elevated levels of two or more inflammatory markers and a positive molecular test for SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against the virus detected within 10 days after admission.

At least 285 USA children have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to the coronavirus and while most recovered, the potential for long-term or permanent damage is unknown, two new studies suggest.

"Indeed, the case definitions may need refinement to capture the wider spectrum of illness", he wrote.