BACKGROUND. During the SARS‐CoV2 pandemic, there has been increase in hyperinflammatory presentation in previously healthy children with a variety of cardiac manifestations. Our objective is to describe the cardiac manifestations found in an international cohort of 55 pediatric cases with multi‐system inflammatory syndrome (MIS‐C) during the SARS‐CoV2 pandemic.
METHODS. We reviewed data on previously healthy pediatric patients (≤18 years) with structurally normal hearts who presented at hospitals in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain and Pakistan with MIS‐C and had consultation with a pediatric cardiologist. Data collected included demographics, clinical presentation, laboratory values, electrocardiographic abnormalities, echocardiographic findings and initial therapies.
RESULTS. A total of 55 patients presented with MIS‐C. Thirty‐five patients (64%) had evidence of decreased left ventricular function, 17 (31%) had valvulitis, 12 (22%) with pericardial effusion and 11 (20%) with coronary abnormalities. Twenty‐seven (49%) required ICU admission and 24 (44%) had evidence of shock. Eleven patients (20%) fulfilled complete Kawasaki disease criteria and had lower NT pro‐BNP, D‐dimer and ferritin levels compared with those who did not fulfill criteria. Electrophysiologic abnormalities occurred in 6 patients and included complete atrioventricular (AV) block, transient AV block and ventricular tachycardia.
CONCLUSIONS. We describe the first international cohort of pediatric patients with MIS‐C during the SARS‐CoV2 pandemic with a range of cardiac manifestations. This paper brings awareness and alertness to the global medical community to recognize these children during the pandemic and understand the need for early cardiology evaluation and follow‐up.
EDITOR’S NOTE: ‘ Most patients had recovery of ventricular function, but 6–14% of patients had persistent dysfunction at discharge.’
BACKGROUND. Cardiac injury and myocarditis have been described in adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in children is typically minimally symptomatic. We report a series of febrile pediatric patients with acute heart failure potentially associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
METHODS. Over a 2-month period, contemporary with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in France and Switzerland, we retrospectively collected clinical, biological, therapeutic, and early outcomes data in children who were admitted to pediatric intensive care units in 14 centers for cardiogenic shock, left ventricular dysfunction, and severe inflammatory state.
RESULTS. Thirty-five children were identified and included in the study. Median age at admission was 10 years (range, 2–16 years). Comorbidities were present in 28%, including asthma and overweight. Gastrointestinal symptoms were prominent. Left ventricular ejection fraction was <30% in one-third; 80% required inotropic support with 28% treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Inflammation markers were suggestive of cytokine storm (interleukin-6 median, 135 pg/mL) and macrophage activation (D-dimer median, 5284 ng/mL). Mean BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) was elevated (5743 pg/mL). Thirty-one of 35 patients (88%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by polymerase chain reaction of nasopharyngeal swab or serology. All patients received intravenous immunoglobulin, with adjunctive steroid therapy used in one-third. Left ventricular function was restored in the 25 of 35 of those discharged from the intensive care unit. No patient died, and all patients treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were successfully weaned.
CONCLUSIONS. Children may experience an acute cardiac decompensation caused by severe inflammatory state after SARS-CoV-2 infection (multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children). Treatment with immunoglobulin appears to be associated with recovery of left ventricular systolic function.