Biomarker Found in Kids With COVID-Linked Inflammatory Syndrome
WASHINGTON — Children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare condition linked to the virus that causes COVID-19, have biochemical indicators that are distinct from other kids suffering from the virus and that could lead to new means of diagnosis and treatment, according to a study published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine.
Using high-speed, artificial intelligence-controlled molecular sequencing of blood-and-plasma RNA and plasma DNA, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health 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.
To conduct the study, the 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 the 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 the 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 recurrence after the injection.
The study was conducted by Charles Y. Chiu, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues at several other institutions. It was funded by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.