Heart function rebounds for children with COVID-related MIS-C – Consumer Health News

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A rare and serious inflammatory disease called MIS-C can strike children weeks after they recover from their COVID infection.

But now there’s good news for parents: Children tend to fully recover from heart injury within three months of illness, according to a new study from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

“While it can be quite serious and very, very rarely fatal, the vast majority of children recover,” said Dr. Kevin Friedman, a pediatric cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital who was not involved in the study. “Their hearts are recovering. Recovery is pretty much the norm, over time.”

Early in the pandemic, doctors discovered that children infected with COVID sometimes fell prey to a delayed side effect called MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children).

Children typically develop MIS-C around four to six weeks after their COVID infection. The syndrome causes deep inflammation throughout the body that affects major organs.

MIS-C occurs in 1 in 3,000 COVID patients, said Dr. Pei-Ni Jone, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Jone is also studying the cardiac effects of MIS-C, but was not involved in the new study.

In more than 4 out of 5 cases of MIS-C, the heart is one of the organs affected by this inflammation, CHOP researchers said in briefing notes.

“The heart is the organ most affected” by MIS-C, Jone said, noting that decreased heart function can sometimes also lead to kidney or liver damage.

Half of children with MIS-C suffer from decreased function of their left ventricle, the heart chamber that pumps oxygenated blood to the body.

“Symptoms can range from zero to very low blood pressure and a very sick child who is in an intensive care unit and needs a breathing tube and heart medication to support their heart,” said Friedmann.

To see if these children recover, doctors at CHOP compared 60 children hospitalized with COVID-related MIS-C to a group of 60 healthy children.

EKG readings showed that the heart function of the MIS-C children improved rapidly during the first week. Within three months, they were essentially back to normal. MRIs taken from several children revealed no lasting scars or damage to the heart.

The Philadelphia findings are consistent with what Jones saw in his MIS-C patients in Colorado.

“They are all recovering about six weeks after their illness,” Jone said. “Of 150 patients we saw here, only two had persistent ventricular dysfunction that required heart medication, but after three months they all recovered and are no longer on medication.”

Children with MIS-C are usually treated with anti-inflammatories, Friedman and Jone said. Doctors may add heart medication if needed.

“The faster you can reduce inflammation, the better the results,” Jone said.

Ultrasounds and electrocardiograms are used to monitor children’s heart health during their treatment and recovery, the doctors said.

Study researchers, led by lead author Dr. Anirban Banerjee, an attending cardiologist at CHOP’s Cardiac Center, said children with MIS-C should be able to return to sports within three to four months, and Jone agrees.

“These patients at three months are all fully recovered and have had stress tests. We are exercising them to make sure their hearts are completely normal,” Jone said.

Of course, there’s a way to prevent your kids from getting sick with MIS-C in the first place, Friedman and Jone said — get them vaccinated.

Jone noted that vaccine-associated myocarditis occurs in 1 in 100,000 people who receive the vaccine, while 1 in 3,000 children with COVID will develop MIS-C.

The new study was published on January 19 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

More information

Johns Hopkins Medicine has more on MIS-C.

SOURCES: Kevin Friedman, MD, pediatric cardiologist, Children’s Hospital Boston; Pei-Ni Jone, MD, pediatric cardiologist, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora; Journal of the American Heart Association, January 19, 2022

From articles on your site

Related articles on the web

Comments are closed.