A Systematic Review of Persistent Clinical Features After SARS-CoV-2 in the Pediatric Population

Here’s a detailed summary of the study titled “A Systematic Review of Persistent Clinical Features After SARS-CoV-2 in the Pediatric Population”:

Study Overview: The study aimed to present the prevalence and characteristics of long-term clinical features of COVID-19, commonly referred to as Long COVID, in the global pediatric population. This systematic review included published articles and preprints from December 2019 to December 2022 that investigated the epidemiology and characteristics of persistent clinical features at least three months after COVID-19 in children and adolescents (0–19 years old)​​.

Key Findings:

  1. Prevalence of Long COVID Symptoms: The study found that 16.2% (with a confidence interval of 8.5% to 28.6%) of pediatric participants experienced one or more persistent symptoms at least three months post COVID-19. This included over 15,000 pediatric participants from 27 cohorts and four cross-sectional studies. The research identified more than 20 persistent symptoms and clinical features among children and adolescents​​.
  2. Range of Symptoms: Persistent or new onset symptoms after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents included fatigue, depression, sleep disturbance, cough, throat pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, among others. The study categorized these as persistent symptoms, with some being newly developed post-infection​​.
  3. Gender Differences: The study suggested that female gender might be associated with developing certain long COVID symptoms, although this aspect requires further exploration​​.

Limitations: The study faced limitations due to great heterogeneity among the included studies. This heterogeneity was attributed to significant variations in the definition of “long COVID,” follow-up duration, and methodologies used. There were also concerns about nonresponse and potential biases in the data collected​​.

Conclusion: The study concluded that persistent clinical features beyond three months among children and adolescents with proven COVID-19 are common, and the spectrum of symptoms is wide. It emphasized the need for high-quality prospective studies with proper controls in the future to better understand and manage Long COVID in the pediatric population​​.

Read More: https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/152/2/e2022060351/192816/A-Systematic-Review-of-Persistent-Clinical

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