Neurological manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospitalised children and adolescents in the UK: a prospective national cohort study.
Published on Sep 1, 2021in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health11.288
· DOI :10.1016/S2352-4642(21)00193-0
Summary null null Background null The spectrum of neurological and psychiatric complications associated with paediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection is poorly understood. We aimed to analyse the range and prevalence of these complications in hospitalised children and adolescents. null null null Methods null We did a prospective national cohort study in the UK using an online network of secure rapid-response notification portals established by the CoroNerve study group. Paediatric neurologists were invited to notify any children and adolescents (age null null null null Findings null Between April 2, 2020, and Feb 1, 2021, 52 cases were identified; in England, there were 51 cases among 1334 children and adolescents hospitalised with COVID-19, giving an estimated prevalence of 3·8 (95% CI 2·9–5·0) cases per 100 paediatric patients. 22 (42%) patients were female and 30 (58%) were male; the median age was 9 years (range 1–17). 36 (69%) patients were Black or Asian, 16 (31%) were White. 27 (52%) of 52 patients were classified into the COVID-19 neurology group and 25 (48%) were classified into the PIMS-TS neurology group. In the COVID-19 neurology group, diagnoses included status epilepticus (n=7), encephalitis (n=5), Guillain-Barre syndrome (n=5), acute demyelinating syndrome (n=3), chorea (n=2), psychosis (n=2), isolated encephalopathy (n=2), and transient ischaemic attack (n=1). The PIMS-TS neurology group more often had multiple features, which included encephalopathy (n=22 [88%]), peripheral nervous system involvement (n=10 [40%]), behavioural change (n=9 [36%]), and hallucinations at presentation (n=6 [24%]). Recognised neuroimmune disorders were more common in the COVID-19 neurology group than in the PIMS-TS neurology group (13 [48%] of 27 patients vs 1 [ null null null Interpretation null This study identified key differences between those with a primary neurological disorder versus those with PIMS-TS. Compared with patients with a primary neurological disorder, more patients with PIMS-TS needed intensive care, but outcomes were similar overall. Further studies should investigate underlying mechanisms for neurological involvement in COVID-19 and the longer-term outcomes. null null null Funding null UK Research and Innovation, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health Research.