Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) primarily affects adults, with a lower incidence in children. Objective: To report our experience with critically ill children with COVID-19. Materials and methods: We reviewed the medical records of children with COVID-19 who were admitted Feb. 25 to May 1, 2020. We reviewed patient demographics, symptoms, comorbidities, requirement for respiratory support, evidence of acute myocardial injury, and chest radiographs. Results: The study included 19 children and adolescents (ages 2 months to 18 years, median 8 years; 10 males, 9 females; 18 COVID-19-positive, 1 COVID-19-negative with positive exposure). Presenting symptoms included fever (89%), cough (68%), respiratory distress (68%) and vomiting/diarrhea (47%). Comorbidities were present in 12 (63%). Fourteen required intensive care; eight required intubation. Two children died. Five patients developed acute myocarditis (median age 7 years); in all five, chest radiographs were notable for cardiomegaly and pulmonary congestion or interstitial edema. Of these five, one (age 18 years), who had underlying hypertension and obesity, developed multifocal pneumonia and renal failure. The other four were previously healthy; three (ages 5 years, 7 years, 8 years) were subsequently diagnosed with multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C); one developed pulmonary opacities consistent with adult respiratory distress syndrome, three (60%) had no parenchymal pulmonary opacities. Fourteen patients (median 13 years), most with comorbidities, had no acute myocardial injury. Chest radiographs in 13 (93%) demonstrated parenchymal lung disease with a predominant perihilar and basilar distribution. Conclusion: Myocarditis without pulmonary disease occurred in children in their first decade as a component of MIS-C, a newly described syndrome of multisystemic inflammation requiring further investigation. Pulmonary disease dominated the radiographic features of COVID-19-positive adolescents in their second decade in whom radiographs demonstrated predominantly perihilar and basilar distribution of lung opacities.
- Multisystem inflammatory syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging