By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

The World Health Organization (WHO) this week said clinicians can use corticosteroids as supportive care for children hospitalized with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C, a complication of COVID-19.

MIS-C can affect different organ systems, which can lead to hospitalization or even intensive care. However, WHO noted that with specialized care, which includes a regimen of corticosteroids, patients age 0 to 18 years (those most at risk for MIS-C) can recover.

Earlier this year, two different research groups published separate studies concurrently weighing the pros and cons of treating MIS-C with high-dose steroids and intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) in combination.

“Even while awaiting more definitive data, it is reasonable that a child sick enough to be hospitalized with MIS-C be given IVIG and steroids; escalation to a biologic, such as anakinra or even plasmapheresis, can be considered when the illness worsens or recovery stalls. Eventually, there will be more data about which virus and patient factors can be used at the time of presentation to predict which treatment regimen would be most efficacious,” author Philip R. Fischer, MD, DTM&H, wrote in the August 2021 issue of Infectious Disease Alert. “As vaccination becomes available for children and as the pandemic wanes, perhaps MIS-C also will become even more rare.”

For more on this and related subjects, be sure to read the latest issues of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Reports.