Rate of thrombosis in children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 or MIS-C

Blood. 2021 Jul 15;138(2):190-198. doi: 10.1182/blood.2020010218.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is associated with thrombotic complications in adults, but the incidence of COVID-19-related thrombosis in children and adolescents is unclear. Most children with acute COVID-19 have mild disease, but coagulopathy has been associated with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a postinfectious complication. We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study to determine the incidence of thrombosis in children hospitalized with COVID-19 or MIS-C and evaluate associated risk factors. We classified patients into 1 of 3 groups for analysis: COVID-19, MIS-C, or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2. Among a total of 853 admissions (COVID-19, n = 426; MIS-C, n = 138; and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2, n = 289) in 814 patients, there were 20 patients with thrombotic events (TEs; including 1 stroke). Patients with MIS-C had the highest incidence (9 [6.5%] of 138) vs COVID-19 (9 [2.1%] of 426) or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 (2 [0.7%] of 289). In patients with COVID-19 or MIS-C, a majority of TEs (89%) occurred in patients age ≥12 years. Patients age ≥12 years with MIS-C had the highest rate of thrombosis at 19% (9 of 48). Notably, 71% of TEs that were not present on admission occurred despite thromboprophylaxis. Multivariable analysis identified the following as significantly associated with thrombosis: age ≥12 years, cancer, presence of a central venous catheter, and MIS-C. In patients with COVID-19 or MIS-C, hospital mortality was 2.3% (13 of 564), but it was 28% (5 of 18) in patients with TEs. Our findings may help inform pediatric thromboprophylaxis strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / complications*
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Thrombosis / drug therapy
  • Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control
  • Young Adult


  • Anticoagulants

Supplementary concepts

  • pediatric multisystem inflammatory disease, COVID-19 related