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Protracted Respiratory Findings in Children Post-COVID-19 Infection
  • Shoshana Leftin Dobkin,
  • Joseph Collaco,
  • Sharon McGrath-Morrow
Shoshana Leftin Dobkin
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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Joseph Collaco
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
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Sharon McGrath-Morrow
Johns Hopkins Medical Insitutions
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Abstract

Introduction: Although prolonged respiratory symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection have been reported in adults, there is a paucity of literature describing post-acute symptoms in pediatric patients following COVID-19. In this study we describe health data and respiratory findings in pediatric patients presenting with complaints of persistent respiratory symptoms following acute COVID-19 infection. Methods: This study included patients referred to Pulmonary Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia between December 2020 and April 2021 (n=29). Inclusion criteria included a history of SARS-CoV-2 RNA positivity or confirmed close household contact. A retrospective chart review was performed and demographic, clinical, imaging, and functional test data were collected. Results: The mean age at presentation to clinic was 13.1 years (range: 4-19 years). Patients had persistent respiratory symptoms ranging from 1.3 to 6.7 months post-acute infection. Persistent dyspnea and/or exertional dyspnea were present in nearly all (96.6%) of the patients at the time of clinic presentation. Other reported chronic symptoms included cough (51.7%) and exercise intolerance (48.3%). Fatigue was reported in 13.7% of subjects. Many subjects were overweight or obese (62.1%) and eleven subjects had a prior history of asthma. Lung function was normal in most patients. The six-minute walk test (6MWT) revealed exercise intolerance and significant tachycardia in two-thirds of children tested. Conclusion: Exertional dyspnea, cough and exercise intolerance were the most common respiratory symptoms in children with post-acute COVID-19 respiratory symptoms seen in an outpatient pulmonary clinic. Lung function, however, was mostly normal, and exertional intolerance was frequently demonstrated using the 6MWT.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

25 Jun 2021Submitted to Pediatric Pulmonology
28 Jun 2021Submission Checks Completed
28 Jun 2021Assigned to Editor
01 Jul 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Jul 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
31 Jul 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
20 Aug 20211st Revision Received
23 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
23 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
23 Aug 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
01 Sep 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
06 Sep 20212nd Revision Received
07 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
07 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
07 Sep 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
07 Sep 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
08 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Accept