Emmerson C.F. de Farias
Background: Some children can develop severe forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection either acutely or later, as represented by Multisystemic Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS- C). To identify the risk factors for worse outcomes in hospitalized children and adolescents with severe acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and MIS-C.
Methods: This multicenter cohort study included all children and adolescents with confirmed or suspected critical SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) between April 2020 and September 2021. The exclusion criteria were incomplete vaccinal status, immune-compromised status, and end-of-life decision. The main variables analyzed were epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory data, and ventilator settings at admission and after 72 h. The patients were divided into three groups (G): confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with MIS-C criteria (G1), confirmed COVID-19 without MIS-C criteria (G2), and MIS-C criteria without confirmed COVID-19.
Results: The median age of the patients was 28 months in G1, with comorbidities in 40 patients (72.7%) (p < 0.0001). The duration of exposure (median 23 days; p = 0.004) and fever were longer in G1 (12 days; p = 0.001). Moreover, Invasive Mechanical Ventilation (IMV) was required in 44 patients (80%, p < 0.0001), and cardiogenic shock occurred in 26 patients (54.2%, p < 0.0001) in G1. Sub-nutrition was most frequent in G1 in 55 cases (57.3%; p = 0.01). Under nutrition (< 2 SD for weight), longer exposure time (odds ratio [OR]: 2.11; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.37–3.25; p = 0.001), IMV time (OR: 2.6; 95% CI: 1.15–5.85; p = 0.03), and length of hospital stay (OR: 10.94; 95% CI: 1.93–63.1; p = 0.007) were associated with critical MIS-C in G1.
Conclusion: In the Brazilian Amazon area, specifically in the Pará state, we identified a cluster of more severe forms of pediatric acute or late SARS-CoV-2 infection.