Severe Cardiac and Abdominal Manifestations Without Lung Involvement in a Child With COVID-19

Miriam Gutierrez-Jimeno, Adriana Ibanez Sada, Juan J Gavira, Carolina Cebrian-Nebot, Laura Martin Lopez, Maria Macias Mojon, Marcos Garcia Howard, Valentin Alzina de Aguilar


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a worldwide pandemic, affecting humans of all ages. Clinical features of the pediatric population have been published, but there is not yet enough information to make a definitive description. Fever is typical, as it is respiratory symptom. Rarely are the infection and complications severe, and, when they are, it is almost always in a patient with another underlying disease. However, some otherwise healthy children with COVID-19 do suffer critical organ injury, such as acute myocarditis, heart failure and gastrointestinal inflammation. The mechanism of these organ damages remains unclear. An otherwise normally healthy 13-year-old male was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit with acute abdomen pain, possible myocarditis and a suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. Noteworthy basal findings were ventricular extrasystoles in the electrocardiogram (EKG) and moderate left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Chest X-ray was normal. Blood tests revealed altered levels of inflammation factors (C-reactive protein (CRP), D-dimer, fibrinogen, interleukin 6 (IL-6)), lymphopenia and elevated cardiac enzymes. The first test for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was negative. The patient’s condition worsened, and he entered cardiogenic shock (hypotension, tachycardia and oliguria). He was vomiting continuously, which made pain control difficult; imaging of his abdomen was undertaken. There was no response to fluid resuscitation, and so milrinone and epinephrine were administered. Empiric treatment began with azithromycin, foscarnet, carnitine and immunoglobulins. Hydroxychloroquine was given before the results of repeated SARS-CoV-2 and serology tests were available. Tocilizumab was administered once COVID-19 had been confirmed and massive inflammation had been observed. Progressively the clinical situation and the levels of the parameters studied improved. The patient was discharged 8 days after admission. Most children with SARS-CoV-2 infection are asymptomatic or present only mild symptoms. However, physicians should be aware of atypical and severe manifestations that may occur in the hyperinflammatory phase of the illness.

Int J Clin Pediatr. 2020;9(3):92-97


Coronavirus; Myocarditis; Cardiogenic shock; Hyperinflammation; Colitis

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