American College of Rheumatology Clinical Guidance for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Associated With SARS-CoV-2 and Hyperinflammation in Pediatric COVID-19: Version 1

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020 Nov;72(11):1791-1805. doi: 10.1002/art.41454. Epub 2020 Oct 3.


Objective: To provide guidance on the management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a condition characterized by fever, inflammation, and multiorgan dysfunction that manifests late in the course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, and to provide recommendations for children with hyperinflammation during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the acute, infectious phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Methods: A multidisciplinary task force was convened by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to provide guidance on the management of MIS-C associated with SARS-CoV-2 and hyperinflammation in COVID-19. The task force was composed of 9 pediatric rheumatologists, 2 adult rheumatologists, 2 pediatric cardiologists, 2 pediatric infectious disease specialists, and 1 pediatric critical care physician. Preliminary statements addressing clinical questions related to MIS-C and hyperinflammation in COVID-19 were developed based on evidence reports. Consensus was built through a modified Delphi process that involved 2 rounds of anonymous voting and 2 webinars. A 9-point scale was used to determine the appropriateness of each statement (median scores of 1-3 for inappropriate, 4-6 for uncertain, and 7-9 for appropriate), and consensus was rated as low, moderate, or high based on dispersion of the votes along the numeric scale. Approved guidance statements were those that were classified as appropriate with moderate or high levels of consensus, as prespecified prior to voting.

Results: The ACR task force approved a total of 128 guidance statements addressing the management of MIS-C and hyperinflammation in pediatric COVID-19. These statements were refined into 40 final clinical guidance statements, accompanied by a flow diagram depicting the diagnostic pathway for MIS-C.

Conclusion: Our understanding of SARS-CoV-2-related syndromes in the pediatric population continues to evolve. The guidance provided in this "living document" reflects currently available evidence, coupled with expert opinion, and will be revised as further evidence becomes available.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / etiology
  • COVID-19 / therapy
  • Consensus
  • Humans
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / etiology
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / therapy*

Supplementary concepts

  • pediatric multisystem inflammatory disease, COVID-19 related