Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children associated with novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2: Presentations to a pediatric emergency department in Michigan

Am J Emerg Med. 2020 Oct 24;S0735-6757(20)30931-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2020.10.035. Online ahead of print.


The SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus of the coronavirus family responsible for a global pandemic since December 2019. More than 35 million people have been affected with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with more than one million deaths worldwide. Michigan was one of the top three states in the United States that was severely affected by the SAR-CoV-2 pandemic with more than 7000 deaths in adults and greater than 145,000 confirmed infections. However, compared to adults, the majority of children until recently were either asymptomatic or had a mild illness with SARS-CoV-2. Recently, a rare but potentially serious presentation associated with SARS-CoV-2 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) has been recently reported and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a case definition for the same. We report the clinical and laboratory presentations and outcomes of 34 children with MIS-C who were evaluated within a 12 week period at a pediatric emergency department (PED) of single institution in Michigan. These cases presented approximately three weeks after the peak of adult SAR-CoV-2 related deaths occurred in the state. While many children presented with clinical characteristics similar to incomplete Kawasaki disease (KD), they also exhibited certain unique features which differentiated MIS-C from KD. The information presented below will aid clinicians with early recognition, evaluation and management of MIS-C in the emergency department.