Study explores rare COVID-19 related inflammatory disease in adults: 8 notes

While experts now know more about multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children — a rare but serious immune response linked to COVID-19 infection — researchers are starting to learn more about how the condition affects adults. 

In a new study published Sept. 22 in JAMA Network Open, researchers identified 221 adults with multisystem inflammatory syndrome by conducting case report literature reviews and examining cases reported to the CDC. 

Eight findings: 

1. Patients were a median age of 21. 

2. Of 219 patients with data available, 70 percent were men. Black and Hispanic patients also made up a higher proportion of cases. 

3. The syndrome typically developed about four weeks after a COVID-19 infection. 

4. The symptoms included fever, low blood pressure, cardiac dysfunction, shortness of breath and diarrhea. The median number of organ systems involved was five. 

5. Of 201 patients with data available, 57 percent were admitted to the intensive care unit. Seven percent died. 

6. Most patients who developed the condition had no underlying comorbidity. 

7. Compared to children who develop the condition, adult patients were more likely to report a previous COVID-19 infection, to present with myocarditis, cardiac dysfunction, and arterial thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or deep venous thrombosis. The findings suggest adults with the condition become more severely ill than children, requiring longer hospital stays and a more frequent need for ventilation. 

8. "These findings suggest that [multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults] is a serious hyperinflammatory condition that presents approximately 4 weeks after onset of acute COVID-19 with extrapulmonary multiorgan dysfunction," researchers said. 


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