International Care programs for Pediatric Post-COVID Condition (Long COVID) and the way forward.

Brackel CLH, Noij LCE, Vijverberg SJH, Legghe CL, Maitland-van der Zee AH, van Goudoever JB, Buonsenso D, Munblit D, Sigfrid L, McFarland S, Anmyr L, Ashkenazi-Hoffnung L, Bellinat APN, Dias NLS, Edwards A, Fashina T, Juraški RG, Gonçalves ALN, Hansted E, Herczeg V, Hertting O, Jankauskaite LN, Kaswandani N, Kevalas R, Krivácsy P, Lorenz M, Malone LA, McVoy M, Miller DW, Morrow AK, Nugawela MD, Oliveira CR, Oliveira PRS, Osmanov IM, Overmars IM, Paintsil E, Pinto Pereira SM, Prawira Y, Putri ND, Ramos RCF, Rasche M, Ryd-Rinder M, De Rose C, Samitova E, Jovanović TS, Say D, Scott JT, Shachar-Lavie I, Shafran R, Shmueli E, Snipaitiene A, Stephenson T, Ténai N, Tosif S, Turkalj M, Valentini P, Vasconcelos LRS, Villard L, Vilser D, Hashimoto S, Terheggen-Lagro SWJ

Pediatr Res - (-) - [2024-01-29; online 2024-01-29]

Pediatric Post-COVID-Condition (PPCC) clinics treat children despite limited scientific substantiation. By exploring real-life management of children diagnosed with PPCC, the International Post-COVID-Condition in Children Collaboration (IP4C) aimed to provide guidance for future PPCC care. We performed a cross-sectional international, multicenter study on used PPCC definitions; the organization of PPCC care programs and patients characteristics. We compared aggregated data from PPCC cohorts and identified priorities to improve PPCC care. Ten PPCC care programs and six COVID-19 follow-up research cohorts participated. Aggregated data from 584 PPCC patients was analyzed. The most common symptoms included fatigue (71%), headache (55%), concentration difficulties (53%), and brain fog (48%). Severe limitations in daily life were reported in 31% of patients. Most PPCC care programs organized in-person visits with multidisciplinary teams. Diagnostic testing for respiratory and cardiac morbidity was most frequently performed and seldom abnormal. Treatment was often limited to physical therapy and psychological support. We found substantial heterogeneity in both the diagnostics and management of PPCC, possibly explained by scarce scientific evidence and lack of standardized care. We present a list of components which future guidelines should address, and outline priorities concerning PPCC care pathways, research and international collaboration. Pediatric Post-COVID Condition (PPCC) Care programs have been initiated in many countries. Children with PPCC in different countries are affected by similar symptoms, limiting many to participate in daily life. There is substantial heterogeneity in diagnostic testing. Access to specific diagnostic tests is required to identify some long-term COVID-19 sequelae. Treatments provided were limited to physical therapy and psychological support. This study emphasizes the need for evidence-based diagnostics and treatment of PPCC. The International Post-COVID Collaboration for Children (IP4C) provides guidance for guideline development and introduces a framework of priorities for PPCC care and research, to improve PPCC outcomes.

Category: Post-COVID

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38287106

DOI 10.1038/s41390-023-03015-0

Crossref 10.1038/s41390-023-03015-0

pii: 10.1038/s41390-023-03015-0

Publications 9.5.0