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1.
Children ; 9(12):1923, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2154910

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may present with a wide variety of symptoms, including neurological manifestations. We investigated clinical, demographic, laboratory, neurophysiological and imaging characteristics of SARS-CoV-2-positive children with seizures and analyzed differences between children admitted during the periods with prevalent circulation of the Alpha/Delta and Omicron variants, respectively. Patients' characteristics were analyzed according to the presence or absence of seizures and then according to the SARS-CoV-2 variants. Five-hundred and four SARS-CoV-2-positive patients were included: 93 (18.4%) with seizures and 411 (81.6%) without. Patients with seizures were older, had more commonly an underlying epilepsy and had more frequently altered C-reactive protein than those without seizures. Electroencephalography was abnormal in 5/38 cases. According to the SARS-CoV-2 variant, seizures were recorded in 4.7% of the total number of hospitalized patients during the Alpha/Delta period, and in 16.9% of patients admitted during the Omicron period. During the Alpha/Delta variants, seizures were more commonly observed in patients with epilepsy compared to those observed during the Omicron period. Our findings suggest that although SARS-CoV-2 may potentially trigger seizures, they are generally not severe and do not require intensive care admission.

2.
Front Immunol ; 13: 985433, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080149

ABSTRACT

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare, severe complication of COVID-19. A better knowledge of immunological, cellular, and genetic characteristics of MIS-C could help better understand the pathogenesis of the disease and contribute to identifying specific diagnostic biomarkers and develop targeted therapies. We studied 37 MIS-C children at hospital admission and 24 healthy controls analyzing serum cytokines (IFN-α, IFN-ß, IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, IL-12p70 and TNF), lymphocyte populations by flow cytometry and 386 genes related to autoimmune diseases, autoinflammation and primary immunodeficiencies by NGS. MIS-C patients showed a significant increase of serum IFNγ (despite a significant reduction of activated Th1) and ILs, even if with a great heterogeneity among patients, revealing different pathways involved in MIS-C pathogenesis and suggesting that serum cytokines at admission may help to select the inflammatory pathways to target in each patient. Flow cytometry demonstrated a relevant reduction of T populations while the percentage of B cell was increased in agreement with an autoimmune pathogenesis of MIS-C. Genetic analysis identified variants in 34 genes and 83.3% of patients had at least one gene variant. Among these, 9 were mutated in more patients. Most genes are related to autoimmune diseases like ATM, NCF1, MCM4, FCN3, and DOCK8 or to autoinflammatory diseases associated to the release of IFNγ like PRF1, NOD2, and MEF. Thus, an incomplete clearance of the Sars-CoV2 during the acute phase may induce tissue damage and self-antigen exposure and genetic variants can predispose to hyper-reactive immune dysregulation events of MIS-C-syndrome. Type II IFN activation and cytokine responses (mainly IL-6 and IL-10) may cause a cytokine storm in some patients with a more severe acute phase of the disease, lymphopenia and multisystemic organ involvement. The timely identification of such patients with an immunocytometric panel might be critical for targeted therapeutic management.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes , Child , Humans , Interleukin-10 , SARS-CoV-2 , Interleukin-17 , Interleukin-6 , RNA, Viral , Cytokines/metabolism , Biomarkers , Autoantigens , Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
4.
Transl Med Commun ; 7(1): 22, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009492

ABSTRACT

Background: The pathogenesis of the novel described multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and Kawasaki disease (KD) is still debated as it is not clear if they are the same or different nosological entities. However, for both the diseases a rapid and unequivocal diagnosis is mandatory to start the therapy before the onset of severe complications. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the white cell populations in MIS-C and KD as potential markers to discriminate between the two diseases. Methods: We studied white cell populations by flow cytometry in 46 MIS-C and 28 KD patients in comparison to 70 age-matched healthy children. Results: MIS-C patients had a significant lymphopenia that involved both B and T populations while KD patients showed a significant neutrophilia and thrombocythemia. Granulocyte/lymphocyte ratio helped to diagnose both MIS-C and KD with a high diagnostic sensitivity, while a multivariate analysis of granulocyte and T lymphocyte number contributed to discriminate between the two diseases. Conclusions: The relevant lymphopenia observed in MIS-C patients suggests that the disease would be a post-infectious sequel of COVID-19 immunologically amplified by a massive cytokine release, while the significant neutrophilia and thrombocythemia observed in KD confirmed that the disorder has the genesis of a systemic vasculitis. The analysis of a panel of circulating cells may help to early diagnose and to discriminate between the two diseases. Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s41231-022-00128-2.

5.
Children (Basel) ; 9(8)2022 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987677

ABSTRACT

Several reports highlighted how public health measures aimed at limiting severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) circulation have likely contributed to reducing the circulation of other respiratory viruses, particularly during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the epidemiology of acute respiratory infections in a large cohort of hospitalized children during the third year of the pandemic (2021-2022). We retrospectively analyzed data from the health records of children (<14 years) hospitalized for acute respiratory infections between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022. A total of 1763 respiratory panels were collected. Overall, 1269 (72%) panels hadpositive results for at least one pathogen. Most positive panels (53.8%) belonged to patients aged 1-12 months. The most detected pathogen was respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (57.8% of positive panels). The RSV peak occurred in November 2021. Nine hundred and forty-five (74.5%) panels were positive for one pathogen while three hundred and twenty-four (25.5%) showed multiple infections. Patients with multiple infections were significantly older than those with a single infection. The 2021-2022 peak of RSV infection in Italy occurred earlier than in the previous pre-pandemic seasons. A high number of children have been hospitalized because of acute viral infections also due to less aggressive viruses.

6.
Metabolites ; 12(8)2022 Jul 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957391

ABSTRACT

Endothelial hyperinflammation and vasculitis are known hallmarks of acute COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). They are due to the direct effect of the virus on endothelial cells enhanced by pro-inflammatory modulators and may cause venous/arterial thrombosis. Therefore, it is essential to identify patients with endothelial damage early in order to establish specific therapies. We studied the monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), the perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (pANCA), and the vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) in serum from 45 MIS-C patients at hospital admission and 24 healthy controls (HC). For 13/45 MIS-C patients, we measured the three serum biomarkers also after one week from hospitalization. At admission, MIS-C patients had significantly higher levels of MCP-1 and VEGF-A than the HC, but no significant differences were observed for pANCA. While after one week, MCP-1 was significantly lower, pANCA was higher and VEGF-A levels were not significantly different from the admission values. These findings suggest an involvement of epithelium in MIS-C with an acute phase, showing high MCP-1 and VEGF-A, followed by an increase in pANCA that suggests a vasculitis development. The serum biomarker levels may help to drive personalized therapies in these phases with anticoagulant prophylaxis, immunomodulators, and/or anti-angiogenic drugs.

7.
Children (Basel) ; 9(5)2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875507

ABSTRACT

We hypothesized that-as in other common pediatric conditions-acute appendicitis (AA) could be complicated by acute kidney injury (AKI). We aimed to investigate the prevalence of, and the factors associated with AKI in a cohort of patients with AA. We retrospectively collected data of 122 children (63.9% of male gender; mean age 8.6 ± 2.9 years; range: 2.2-13.9 years) hospitalized for AA. AKI was defined according to the Kidney Disease/Improving Global Outcomes creatinine criteria. We considered a basal serum creatinine value as the value of creatinine estimated with the Hoste (age) equation, assuming that the basal estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was 120 mL/min/1.73 m2. Explorative univariate logistic regression analysis was used to explore the associations with AKI. Out of 122 patients, nine (7.4%) presented with AKI. One patient had stage two AKI and the remaining had stage one AKI. The maximum AKI stage was found at admission. The patients with AKI showed a higher prevalence of fever ≥ 38.5 °C (p = 0.02), vomiting (p = 0.03), ≥5% dehydration (p = 0.03), and higher levels of both C-reactive protein (CRP) (p = 0.002) and neutrophils (p = 0.03) compared with patients without AKI. Because all patients with AKI also presented with vomiting, an Odds Ratio (OR) for the vomiting was not calculable. The exploratory univariate logistic regression analysis confirmed that fever ≥ 38.5 °C (OR = 5.0; 95% CI: 1.2/21.5; p = 0.03), ≥5% dehydration (OR = 8.4; 95% CI: 1.1/69.6; p = 0.04), CRP (OR = 1.1; 95% CI: 1.05/1.2; p = 0.01), and neutrophil levels (OR = 1.1; 95% CI: 1.01/1.3; p = 0.04) were all predictive factors of AKI. AKI can occur in 7.4% of patients with AA. Particular attention should be paid to the kidney health of patients with AA especially in the presence of vomiting, ≥5% dehydration, fever ≥ 38.5 °C, and high CRP and neutrophils levels.

8.
Children (Basel) ; 9(4)2022 Mar 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792796

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a disease temporally related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and it is characterized by fever, conjunctival injections, rash, gastrointestinal symptoms, and cardiovascular complications. We evaluated the clinical presentation, laboratory findings, imaging features, therapeutic interventions, and hospital course of a monocentric cohort, and we analyzed these findings according to two age groups. METHODS: Patients with MIS-C admitted to a Tertiary Care Pediatric Hospital from November 2020 to November 2021 were considered for the enrollment. RESULTS: Overall, 35 consecutive patients were included. Most of the children did not require intensive care unit at the admission. The clinical presentation of MIS-C slightly differs according to age groups. Mucocutaneus involvement was more frequent in younger patients, while abdominal symptoms were present in 54% of patients aged less than 5 years and in 95% of patients aged more than 5 years (p < 0.05). In addition, the number of cases with troponin above the normal reference value was significantly higher in older patients (77%) compared to younger cases (15%) (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: MIS-C is a new emerging condition and represents a challenge to pediatricians due to the severity of presentation. Further studies to better characterize the long-term outcome of MIS-C patients are mandatory.

9.
Children (Basel) ; 9(4)2022 Apr 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792795

ABSTRACT

Liver and pancreatic involvement in children with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome related to SARS-CoV-2 (MIS-C) has been poorly investigated so far. We reviewed a cohort of MIS-C patients to analyze the prevalence of acute liver injury (ALI) and pancreatic injury and their correlation with clinical outcomes. Demographic, clinical, laboratory and imaging features of children with MIS-C at admission and during hospital stay were prospectively collected. Fifty-five patients (mean age 6.5 ± 3.7 years) were included. At admission, 16 patients showed ALI and 5 had increased total serum lipase. During observation, 10 more patients developed ALI and 19 more subjects presented raised pancreatic enzymes. In comparison to those with normal ALT, subjects with ALI were significantly older (p = 0.0004), whereas pancreatic involvement was associated to a longer duration of hospital stay compared with patients with normal pancreatic enzymes (p = 0.004). Time between hospital admission and onset of ALI was shorter compared to the onset of raised pancreatic enzymes (3.2 ± 3.9 versus 5.3 ± 2.7 days, respectively; p = 0.035). Abdominal ultrasound showed liver steatosis in 3/26 (12%) and hepatomegaly in 6/26 (16%) patients with ALI; 2 patients presented enlarged pancreas. Although liver and pancreatic involvement is commonly observed in MIS-C patients, it is mild in most cases with a complete recovery.

10.
Children ; 9(4):468, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1762286

ABSTRACT

Background: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a disease temporally related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and it is characterized by fever, conjunctival injections, rash, gastrointestinal symptoms, and cardiovascular complications. We evaluated the clinical presentation, laboratory findings, imaging features, therapeutic interventions, and hospital course of a monocentric cohort, and we analyzed these findings according to two age groups. Methods: Patients with MIS-C admitted to a Tertiary Care Pediatric Hospital from November 2020 to November 2021 were considered for the enrollment. Results: Overall, 35 consecutive patients were included. Most of the children did not require intensive care unit at the admission. The clinical presentation of MIS-C slightly differs according to age groups. Mucocutaneus involvement was more frequent in younger patients, while abdominal symptoms were present in 54% of patients aged less than 5 years and in 95% of patients aged more than 5 years (p < 0.05). In addition, the number of cases with troponin above the normal reference value was significantly higher in older patients (77%) compared to younger cases (15%) (p < 0.01). Conclusions: MIS-C is a new emerging condition and represents a challenge to pediatricians due to the severity of presentation. Further studies to better characterize the long-term outcome of MIS-C patients are mandatory.

11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409573

ABSTRACT

Previously, we demonstrated an 81% reduction in pediatric Emergency Room (ER) visits in Italy during the strict lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Since May 2020, lockdown measures were relaxed until 6 November 2020, when a strict lockdown was patchily reintroduced. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of the relaxed lockdown on pediatric ER visits in Italy. We performed a retrospective multicenter study involving 14 Italian pediatric ERs. We compared total ER visits from 24 September 2020 to 6 November 2020 with those during the corresponding timeframe in 2019. We evaluated 17 ER specific diagnoses grouped in air communicable and non-air communicable diseases. We recognized four different triage categories: white, green, yellow and red. In 2020 total ER visits were reduced by 51% compared to 2019 (16,088 vs. 32,568, respectively). The decrease in air communicable diseases was significantly higher if compared to non-air communicable diseases (-64% vs. -42%, respectively). ER visits in each triage category decreased in 2020 compared to 2019, but in percentage, white and red codes remained stable, while yellow codes slightly increased and green codes slightly decreased. Our results suggest that preventive measures drastically reduced the circulation of air communicable diseases even during the reopening of social activities but to a lesser extent with regard to the strict lockdown period (March-May 2020).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
12.
Pediatr Rep ; 13(3): 504-510, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390716

ABSTRACT

This report presents the first case of Brugada pattern complicated by a supraventricular arrhythmia in a child with SARS-CoV-2 related Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). A 7-year-old boy came to our Emergency Department with 7 days of abdominal pain and fever. MIS-C was diagnosed on the basis of the clinical, laboratory and instrumental tests. On admission, ECG showed type 1 Brugada pattern in the right precordial leads. During hospitalization the onset of supraventricular arrhythmias complicated the clinical picture. This case underlines management complexity of supraventricular arrhythmic events, different from atrial fibrillation, in patients with Brugada pattern in the context of a systemic inflammatory condition with significant cardiac involvement. All potential therapeutic choices should be considered to ensure the best outcomes.

15.
Ital J Pediatr ; 47(1): 19, 2021 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054827

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has markedly affected emergency care, due to sudden limitation of health care capacity by general practitioners (GP) and urgent need for infection control strategies. We evaluated the activity of the Emergency Department (ED) during the national lockdown (March 8-April 30), as well as the outcomes of our infection control strategy. RESULTS: Despite a reduction in access by one fifth, a proportion of febrile patients comparable to 2019 was seen (829/2492, 33.3% vs 4580/13.342, 34.3%, p = 0.3). Diagnostic swab for COVID-19 was performed in 25% of patients, especially in subjects with co-morbidities or multiple access. Six infected cases were identified, all presenting with febrile disease. Only two positive patients fulfilled the criteria for diagnostic swab provided by the Italian Health Authorities, because of close contact with suspected or confirmed cases. The rate of admission for febrile or respiratory conditions was higher than the same period of 2019 (33.4% vs 25.9%, p < 0.0001). None of the 105 health-care professionals working during the study time lapse exhibited anti-SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion. Among the 589 patients with information available, 54.9% declared no medical consultation at all prior to coming to ED, while only 40 (of which 27 with fever) had been examined by their GP before coming to ED. Nevertheless, 35.6% of the cases were already taking medications. None of the 9 patients requiring intensive care reported recent pediatric consultation, despite symptoms duration up to 30 days. CONCLUSION: Our results provide evidence that the reduced capacity of primary care facilities during the national lockdown may have caused a high rate of self-medication as well as a delayed provision of care in some patients. Identification of pediatric patients affected with SARS-CoV-2 infection remains a challenge because of the absence of reliable predictive factors. Finally, the use of specific triage centers, with dedicated pathways to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection, trace contacts and allow adequate care after swabs, is effective in preventing spreading of the infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Hospitals, Pediatric/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment , Triage
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(23)2020 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-945819

ABSTRACT

From 9 March to 3 May 2020, lockdown was declared in Italy due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Our aim was to evaluate how the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and related preventive strategies affected pediatric emergency rooms (ERs) during this period. We performed a retrospective cohort multicenter study, comparing the lockdown period to the corresponding period in 2019. We examined 15 Italian pediatric ERs in terms of visit rates, specific diagnoses (grouped as air communicable diseases and non-air communicable diseases), and triage categories. During the lockdown period, ER admissions decreased by 81% compared to 2019 (52,364 vs. 10,112). All ER specific diagnoses decreased in 2020 and this reduction was significantly higher for air communicable diseases (25,462 vs. 2934, p < 0.001). Considering the triage category, red codes remained similar (1% vs. 1%), yellow codes increased (11.2% vs. 22.3%), and green codes decreased (80.3% vs. 69.5%). We can speculate that social distancing and simple hygiene measures drastically reduced the spread of air communicable diseases. The increase in yellow codes may have been related to a delay in primary care and, consequently, in ER admissions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Triage/statistics & numerical data , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
18.
Neurol Sci ; 41(12): 3475-3483, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-888213

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic of Covid-19 on 11 March 2020. The lockdown caused a lifestyle changes: an increase in the use of mobile media devices (MMDs), sleep and psychiatric disorders, incorrect habits regarding food and physical activities. We investigate prevalence of admission for seizures at our emergency department (ED), during Italian lockdown, comparing with that of the same period of the previous year (2019), and the relationship with some lifestyle changes. METHODS: In this observational study, patients (4-14 years) with seizures that accessed at our ED, during Italian lockdown, were eligible. Non-epileptic events and febrile seizures were excluded. We describe two groups: patients with new-onset seizures and not. Moreover, a questionnaire concerning use of MMDs and sleep habits was administered. RESULTS: Fifty-seven patients were included; median age 8.03 years. Considering only paediatric medical emergencies, the prevalence of accesses for seizures was 2.6% (CI 95% 0.020-0.034), while the incidence was 0.94% (CI 95% 0.006-0.0149). There was a statistically significant difference with prevalence of previous years, χ2 102.21 (p = 0.0001). We also reported a difference in daily screen time (DST) (p = 0.001) and total sleep time (TST) (p = 0.045), in all population, between period pre- and during lockdown. A negative correlation between DST and seizures latency (Spearman's ρ -0.426, p = 0.038) was found. In the two groups, the results were partially overlapping. CONCLUSIONS: During lockdown period, we assisted to an increase of accesses for seizures. It is conceivable that a sleep time change and/or higher MMD use could act as triggers for seizures.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine , Seizures/epidemiology , Adolescent , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cell Phone Use/adverse effects , Child , Child, Preschool , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep
19.
Front Pediatr ; 8: 521, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-846479

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and population lockdown on pediatric ED consultations. Methods: A cross-sectional study on pediatric emergency department consultations before and during the current COVID-19 pandemic (March-May 2019 vs. March-May 2020) was performed in two hospitals in the Campania region (Southern Italy) [i.e., Salerno University Hospital (Salerno) and Pediatric Regional Referral Emergency Hub "AORN Santobono-Pausillipon" (Naples)]. Results: 29,368 consecutive ED pediatric patients (13,430 females; mean age ± SD = 5.4 ± 4.7 years) were seen in March-May 2019 and 9,133 (4,494 females; mean age ± SD = 5.9 ± 4.2 years) in March-May 2020. Resuscitation/emergency and urgent care pediatric ED consultations were 1,388 (4.7%, 95% CI 4.5-4.9) in the 2019 trimester, while they were 648 (7.1%, 95% CI 6.6-7.6) in the 2020 trimester (p < 0.01). Mean pediatric ED daily consultations were 326.3 (95% CI 299.9-352.7) in the considered period of 2019 and 101.4 (95%CI 77.9-124.9) in the same period of 2020 (p < 0.001). COVID-19 nasal swabs were performed for 385 children; of those, six resulted positive and four of them were hospitalized. Conclusions: This work provides a unique snapshot of the pediatric EDs demands in the era of COVID-19. We witnessed a significant reduction of non-urgent health care demands during the pandemic but an increase of more severe urgent cases. The COVID-19 pandemic and the following lockdown unveiled the inappropriateness of the majority of pediatric ED consultations. Nevertheless, the current scenario highlighted the need for appropriate and timely clinical evaluations in the pediatric primary care to tackle late and more severe diagnoses in EDs.

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