Understanding Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Dongngan Truong, MD, and Jane Newburger, MD, discuss the current clinical understanding of MIS-C.

Multisystem inflammatory system in children (MIS-C) is a newly recognized condition that has been linked with the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Currently, there are many unknowns surrounding this condition, and long-term outcomes have yet to be determined. Nevertheless, cases so far appear to be rare.

Two pediatric cardiologists Dongngan Truong, MD, University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, and Jane Newburger, MD, Boston Children’s Children, spoke to HCPLive® about the current level of understanding of MIS-C.

Right now, Truong emphasized, researchers and physicians are still in their discovery phase.

“Based on what we know so far, these kids can be pretty sick,” she said. “Lots of them are requiring time in the intensive care unit to treat things like low blood pressure, decreased squeeze of the heart. A lot of them have abdominal symptoms that mimic things like appendicitis.”

Data has shown that the likely post-infectious syndrome occurs weeks after diagnosis of COVID-19.

“We see many children who had a mild case [of COVID-19]—and even incidentally diagnosed—who later come up with MIS-C,” Newburger noted. “It’s a tiny fraction of all the children who are exposed to COVID-19.”

Truong and Newbruger further discussed methods for diagnosing MIS-C despite lack of formal tests.