Primary Children’s Hospital will help lead study on ‘severe complication’ from COVID-19

Primary Children's Hospital. Photo Courtesy: Intermountain Healthcare

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 26, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Primary Children’s Hospital announced Tuesday it will be co-leading the nation’s first study on COVID-19-related multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.

“Doctors at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital are seeing several young patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C — a severe complication from COVID-19,” said a news release from Intermountain Healthcare.

Dr. Dongngan Truong, of University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, is co-leading the nation’s first longitudinal study to understand how MIS-C is affecting children long-term, and find the best way to detect and treat children with MIS-C.

The five-year longitudinal study is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and is co-led by Dr. Jane Newburger of Boston Children’s Hospital.

MIS-C is a rare, extreme immune response to COVID-19, and can cause severe illness involving the heart, lungs, blood, kidneys, or brain. Children with MIS-C are hospitalized, and often require intensive care. MIS-C also has disproportionately affected Black and Latinx children, the news release said.

“There are no known risk factors at this point that would make some kids with COVID-19 develop MIS-C and others not,” Truong said. “That’s where research studies like MUSIC are going to play an important role.”

The MUSIC study, short for “Long-Term Outcomes after the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome In Children,” is the first to examine how MIS-C affects the coronary anatomy and ventricular function of the heart over time, as well as the long-term effect of MIS-C on other organ systems such as the nervous, lung, immune, and gastrointestinal systems. Understanding these effects will help researchers better understand the disease, and more quickly detect, treat and manage MIS-C.

“We’ll analyze numerous factors from changes in a child’s heart function and rhythm to lingering symptoms like fatigue, and share data, like genetic clues about disease risk and outcomes, while using all of this information to create evidence-based treatment guidelines for MIS-C,” said Gail Pearson, M.D., Sc.D., the associate director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The study is enrolling about 600 children from the United States and Canada through collaboration with the Pediatric Heart Network, a pediatric research consortium created and funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. Study participants are children who have been diagnosed with MIS-C and recovered, and children who will develop MIS-C over the next two years. The longitudinal study of kids’ outcomes will take place over the next five years.

The MUSIC study will be conducted at more than 30 academic institutions across the United States and Canada. It’s part of a comprehensive Department of Health and Human Services and NIH strategy to understand MIS-C and pediatric COVID-19 as quickly as possible, the news release said.


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