New York, Jan 19 : Children who develop a rare Kawasaki-like inflammatory syndrome after catching Covid recover within three months, a study has found.
While Covid-19 poses less risk of death or serious illness in children, some experienced multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).
MIS-C, also known as paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS), causes swelling throughout the body, including around vital organs such as the heart.
Some children also developed Kawasaki-like multisystem inflammatory conditions, including a high temperature, a rash, tiredness and stomach pain. In rare cases, some children may require intensive care.
Researchers from University of Pennsylvania conducted a study of 120 children -- half of whom were hospitalised with MIS-C and found they all had normal heart function within a week, Daily Mail reported.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, showed that recovery among these children was excellent.
"These results have important implications for our health care teams managing care for children with MIS-C," said Dr Anirban Banerjee, a paediatrician and senior author.
"Our findings may also provide guidance for a gradual return to playing sports after cardiac clearance three to four months later," he added.
Kawasakialike condition is triggered by an overreaction in the immune system to fight off a Covid infection and sees the body attack healthy cells.
The researchers looked at 60 children with MIS-C who were admitted to two hospitals in Philadelphia between April 2020 and January 2021.
The children, who were mostly boys and aged 10 on average, were treated with intravenous immunoglobulin -- an antibody treatment that helps fight off infection -- or corticosteroids, which calm down the immune system.
Then they compared the findings to a control group of 60 children who did not have Covid or heart problems.
While all the MIS-C patients' heart function improved quickly within the first week, even patients with "significant cardiac abnormalities" saw their changes resolved within three months.
Seven per cent of the hospitalised children had some heart malfunction when first admitted, but this had disappeared three months later.
Eight in 10 patients lost some contractile function -- the ability of the heart to contract and pump blood -- when they were most unwell, but three to four months later, this had also returned to normal, the report said.
And the condition did not cause any long-lasting problems in the coronary arteries, which are responsible for supplying blood to the heart.
But the researchers warned MIS-C and Covid are still new illnesses, so it is yet to be determined if sufferers' hearts have any problems beyond four months after they were diagnosed with heart problems, the report said.
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