COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Perspective from David Cennimo, MD
Disclosures: Morris reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
October 02, 2020
2 min read
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SARS-CoV-2 causes inflammatory syndrome in adults that resembles MIS-C

Perspective from David Cennimo, MD
Disclosures: Morris reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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Multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a severe complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection seen predominantly in children, has been identified in adults and often has fatal outcomes, according to a new report in MMWR.

Researchers said case findings suggest that adult patients with a previous or current SARS-CoV-2 infection can potentially develop a hyperinflammatory syndrome similar to multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). The authors of the MMWR report called the adult condition MIS-A.

“Clinical suspicion and indicated SARS-CoV-2 testing, including antibody testing, might be needed to recognize and treat adults with MIS-A,” Sapna Bamrah Morris, MD, of the CDC’s COVID-19 response team, and colleagues wrote. “Further research is needed to understand the pathogenesis and long-term effects of this condition. Ultimately, the recognition of MIS-A reinforces the need for prevention efforts to limit spread of SARS-CoV-2.”

Morris and colleagues examined case data related to 27 patients who had gastrointestinal, dermatologic and neurologic symptoms without the presence of severe respiratory illness and who had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test — traits indicative of MIS-A. They excluded patients that had alternative diagnoses, such as bacterial sepsis, that could account for their symptoms. Of the cases, seven were from case reports, nine were reported to CDC and 11 were pulled from findings in peer-reviewed journals.

The researchers wrote that the patients included had “minimal respiratory symptoms, hypoxemia or radiologic abnormalities” and that only eight patients had respiratory symptoms before MIS-A onset.

“As with children, it is important that multidisciplinary care be considered to ensure optimal treatment,” the authors wrote. “In the process of learning more from MIS-A cases, the working case definition might need to be revised in order to systematically conduct a call for cases.”