Corticosteroid can be used for effective treatment of children hospitalised with MIS-C: WHO

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome has been seen in several children exposed to or recovering from COVID-19

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 25 November 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) released fresh guidelines for treating children who developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) after being exposed to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection. 

Corticosteroids can be used for effective treatment of the condition in hospitalised children (0-18 years of age), according to the recommendations. 

MIS-C is a condition where various organs of the body are affected by inflammation. The patient develops heart problems, the severity of which may determine the line of treatment. In severe cases, children need intensive care and pacemakers. 

The United Nations health agency drew the guidelines based on three observational study on 885 patients. 

The introduction of corticosteroids along with supportive care resulted in a more effective treatment than either intravenous immunoglobulin plus supportive care or supportive care alone, WHO said. 

The treatment was also found to be effective in treating children with Kawasaki disease in association to COVID-19, according to the recommendations. WHO added: 

In hospitalized children aged 0–18 who meet both a standard case definition for MIS-C and diagnostic criteria for Kawasaki disease, we suggest using corticosteroids in addition to standard of care for Kawasaki disease (conditional recommendation, very low certainty).

Kawasaki disease causes inflammation of blood vessels and mostly occurs in children. 

Corticosteroids can be administered orally as well as intravenously, the health agency noted. The dosage used in two of the three studies was 0.8–2.0 milligram per kg per day for 5 days in one and 10–30 mg/kg/day for 3 days in the other. 

The patient undergoing the treatment should be monitored for known complications such as hypergycemia (high blood glucose) and behavioural changes, WHO noted. 

The guideline development group underlined the need for further trials to upgrade the certainty of the findings, the health organisation added. 

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