NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Biomarker Pattern Found in Kids with Covid 19-Linked Inflammatory Syndrome

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Children with MIS-C have biochemical indicators of cell injury that are distinct from other children with Covid-19, a study finds.


Children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C)—a rare condition linked with the virus that causes Covid-19—have biochemical indicators of cell injury and cell death that are distinct from other children with Covid-19, according to a study funded by NICHD. 

Using high speed, artificial intelligence-controlled molecular sequencing of blood-and-plasma RNA and plasma DNA, researchers found that children with MIS-C have biomarkers indicating damage to multiple organs, the lining of blood vessels and the nervous system. MIS-C usually occurs two to six weeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection, resulting in inflammation of the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal tract.

The study was conducted by Dr. Charles Chiu of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues at several other institutions. It appears in Cell Reports Medicine

To conduct the study, researchers analyzed 416 blood samples from 237 patients. Their analysis enabled them to distinguish between patients with MIS-C and Covid-19. They believe their findings could lead to development of tests that allow clinicians to distinguish between MIS-C and other conditions involving widespread inflammation, such as Kawasaki disease, septic shock, and severe Covid-19, and to development of more appropriate treatments for each.

A previous study of children and adolescents who received a Covid-19 vaccination following MIS-C found that there were no reports of serious complications, including myocarditis or MIS-C reoccurrence after the injection. 

Everyone should stay up to date with Covid-19 vaccines for their age group, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, regardless of whether they have been infected with the virus.

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