Left Menu
Development News Edition

Study reveals post-COVID syndrome severely damages children's hearts

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), believed to be linked to COVID-19, damages the heart to such an extent that some children will need lifelong monitoring and interventions, said the senior author of a medical review.

ANI | Texas | Updated: 06-09-2020 10:28 IST | Created: 06-09-2020 10:28 IST
Study reveals post-COVID syndrome severely damages children's hearts
Representative image. Image Credit: ANI

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), believed to be linked to COVID-19, damages the heart to such an extent that some children will need lifelong monitoring and interventions, said the senior author of a medical review. The review was published in EClinicalMedicine, a journal of The Lancet.

Case studies also show MIS-C can strike seemingly healthy children without warning three or four weeks after asymptomatic infections, said Alvaro Moreira, MD, MSc, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr Moreira, a neonatologist, is an assistant professor of paediatrics in the university's Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine. "According to the literature, children did not need to exhibit the classic upper respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 to develop MIS-C, which is frightening," Dr. Moreira said. "Children might have no symptoms, no one knew they had the disease, and a few weeks later, they may develop this exaggerated inflammation in the body."

The team reviewed 662 MIS-C cases reported worldwide between January 1 and July 25. Among the findings:- 71% of the children were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).- 60% presented with shock.- Average length of stay in the hospital was 7.9 days.- 100% had a fever, 73.7% had abdominal pain or diarrhoea, and 68.3% suffered vomiting.- 90% had an echocardiogram (EKG) test and 54% of the results were abnormal.- 22.2% of the children required mechanical ventilation.- 4.4% required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).- 11 children died.

"This is a new childhood disease that is believed to be associated with SARS-CoV-2," Dr Moreira said. "It can be lethal because it affects multiple organ systems. Whether it be the heart and the lungs, the gastrointestinal system or the neurologic system, it has so many different faces that initially it was challenging for clinicians to understand." The amount of inflammation in MIS-C surpasses two similar pediatric conditions, Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. "The saving grace is that treating these patients with therapies commonly used for Kawasaki - immunoglobulin and glucocorticosteroids - has been effective," Dr. Moreira said.

Cardiac abnormalities Most of the 662 children suffered cardiac involvement as indicated by markers such as troponin, which is used with great accuracy in adults to diagnose heart attacks.

"Almost 90% of the children (581) underwent an echocardiogram because they had such a significant cardiac manifestation of the disease," Dr Moreira said. The damage included:

-Dilation of coronary blood vessels, a phenomenon also seen in Kawasaki disease.-Depressed ejection fraction, indicating a reduced ability for the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the tissues of the body. Almost 10% of children had an aneurysm of a coronary vessel. "This is a localized stretching or ballooning of the blood vessel that can be measured on an ultrasound of the heart," Dr Moreira said.

Children with an aneurysm are at the most risk of a future event. "These are children who are going to require significant observation and follow-up with multiple ultrasounds to see if this is going to resolve or if this is something they will have for the rest of their lives," Dr Moreira said. "And that's catastrophic to a parent who had a previously healthy child and then he/she is in the very small percentage of individuals who developed MIS-C after COVID-19 infection," he said.

Another finding from the case studies: Almost half of the patients who had MIS-C had an underlying medical condition, and of those, half of the individuals were obese or overweight. "Generally, in both adults and children, we are seeing that patients who are obese will have a worse outcome," Dr Moreira said.

When compared to the initial COVID-19 infection, inflammatory markers in MIS-C were far more abnormal. For instance, troponin, the marker used in adults to diagnose heart attacks, was 50 times its normal level in children with MIS-C. "Evidence suggests that children with MIS-C have immense inflammation and potential tissue injury to the heart, and we will need to follow these children closely to understand what implications they may have in the long term," Dr Moreira said. (ANI)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Uganda COVID-19 response: Was off to a good start but reopening dwindled prospects

Uganda has shown success in using health information to enhance efficiency of disease surveillance, reporting and monitoring. The success, however, has critical challenges confronting it as the country resumes normal activities....

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Videos

Latest News

BJP MP gives Rs 2.5 lakh to Ladakh boy whose video of saluting soldiers went viral

BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday said he has given Rs 2.5 lakh to the parents of a young boy from Ladakh after a video clip of him giving a crisp salute to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel posted in the region went viral. The v...

Selena Gomez reflects on her mental health journey in talk session with Kamala Harris

Singer Selena Gomez on Thursday local time reflected on her mental health journey as she had a remote chat session with the Democratic senator and Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris. The Fetish, singer posted the video of the chat on...

Strong Aegean Sea earthquake topples buildings in Turkey

A strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea has shaken Turkey and Greece. Turkeys interior minister reports that six buildings in western Izmir province were destroyed. Turkeys Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said Fridays earthquake ...

Norway wealth fund says it's hard to find right green energy projects

Norways 1.1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the worlds largest, is having trouble finding suitable unlisted renewable- energy projects to invest in due to the paucity of projects and strong competition for stakes in them, its new CEO said. ...

Give Feedback