The two primary manifestations of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in children are acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia and multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). While most pediatric cases of acute COVID-19 disease are mild or asymptomatic, some children are at risk for developing severe pneumonia. In MIS-C, children present a few weeks after SARS-CoV-2 exposure with a febrile illness that can rapidly progress to shock and multiorgan dysfunction. In both diseases, the clinical and laboratory findings can be nonspecific and present a diagnostic challenge. Thoracic imaging is commonly obtained to assist with initial workup, assessment of disease progression, and guidance of therapy. This paper reviews the radiologic findings of acute COVID-19 pneumonia and MIS-C, highlights the key distinctions between the entities, and summarizes our understanding of the role of imaging in managing SARS-CoV-2-related illness in children.
- Computed tomography
- Coronavirus disease 2019
- Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging