Clinical characteristics of pediatric coronavirus disease 2019 and predictors of polymerase chain reaction positivity

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Arslan G., Akturk H., Duman M.

PEDIATRICS INTERNATIONAL, vol.63, no.9, pp.1055-1061, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/ped.14602
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1055-1061
  • Keywords: children, clinical characteristics, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, KAWASAKI-LIKE DISEASE, COVID-19, CHILDREN, SARS-COV-2
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background To identify the clinical findings and outcomes of children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and factors predicting reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positivity. Methods The data were analyzed retrospectively for suspected and confirmed pediatric COVID-19 patients between March 20 and May 31, 2020. Results There were 404 children, of them, 176 (43.6%) patients were confirmed to have COVID-19, and 228 (56.4%) were considered suspected cases. Confirmed cases were less symptomatic on admission (67.6%-95.6%). Cough (44.9%), fever (38.1%), sore throat (18.5%), and smell-taste loss (12.7%) were the most common symptoms. Confirmed cases had a 92.6% identified history of contact with COVID-19. Close contact with COVID-19 positive family members and sore throat increased the RT-PCR positivity 23.8 and 5.0 times, respectively; while positivity decreased by 0.4 times if fever was over 38 degrees C. Asymptomatic and mild cases were categorized as "group 1" (n = 153); moderate, severe, and critical cases as "group 2" (n = 23) in terms of disease severity. Group 2 cases had higher C-reactive protein (40.9%-15.9%) and procalcitonin (22.7%-4.9%) levels and had more frequent lymphopenia (45.5%-13.1%). Out of 23 cases, 19 had abnormal chest radiograph findings; of them, 15 patients underwent chest computed tomographies (CTs), and all had abnormal findings. However, 26.0% of them needed respiratory support, and no patient required invasive ventilation. Conclusions Children with COVID-19 have a milder clinical course and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rarely causes severe disease in children. Contact history with COVID-19 and sore throat are the most important predictors for RT-PCR positivity. Consequently, the role of asymptomatic children in the contamination chain must be fully established and considered for the control of pandemic.