Many children treated for MIS-C have post-COVID complications: Study

Kids and teens who have been treated for multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, after a COVID-19 infection should be given a follow-up cardiac assessment, according to experts at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

The push for follow-up comes after research led by the children's hospital found that a high percentage of patients who had been treated for MIS-C had lingering heart complications or abnormalities at a six-month check-up. 

The study, published Nov. 15 in Pediatrics, examined outcomes of pediatric patients following treatment for MIS-C post-COVID infection and found that 82% had reduced functional capacity on CPET, 54% had evidence of myocardial injury during acute illness, 46% had at least one abnormality on CMR, 12%, had abnormal rhythm results.

"We were surprised to see that many patients had some sign of cardiac pathology, so we recommend that all patients who had MIS-C receive a cardiac follow-up evaluation," Jackie Szmuszkovicz, MD, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and co-author of the study said. "The extent of cardiac abnormalities varied, with some changes being quite subtle. Whether these changes are transient or permanent is still unknown."

If the damage is permanent, Dr. Szmuszkovicz said these children could be "at lifelong risk of early heart disease."


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