Clinical, radiological and laboratory characteristics of pediatric patients with COVID-19: Living systematic review
AbstractIntroduction: Since the first COVID-19 cases were reported, the disease's clinical and epidemiological characteristics have continuously been studied, although they have not been yet defined. Objective: To estimate the epidemiological profile of pediatric patients with COVID-19, as well as their clinical, laboratory and radiological characteristics. Materials and methods: A living systemic review was conducted in the PubMed, Scopus and SciELO databases. Observational studies describing clinical, radiological, and laboratory characteristics of pediatric patients with COVID-considered for the search; there were no language restrictions. Government, epidemiological, and pre-print papers were also considered. Meta-analyses of single proportion (frequentist approach) and two proportions (Bayesian method) were carried out. The study registration and protocol are available at https://osf.io/y43wm and https://osf.io/r8ktv, respectively. Results: 13 studies, with a total of 9 152 patients, were retrieved. The Bayesian meta-analysis reported that males are more affected by the disease: OR 1.24 (HDI95%: 1.09-1.4). The proportion results calculated by means of the frequentist meta-analysis are: 52% cough (95%CI: 50-55), 0% death (95%CI: 0-0.1), 16% high aspartate transaminase levels (95%CI: 13-19), and 60% lung changes observed in chest X-ray (95%CI: 57-64). Conclusions: Based on the current data, it is not possible to describe accurately the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 in the pediatric population. However, evidence suggests that males are more affected by the disease and that lung alterations in imaging studies are more frequent than clinical signs such as cough and fever. Laboratory test results are not conclusive and show that different organs and systems of the human body may be affected by SARS-CoV-2. The results reported here must be compared to prospective controlled studies conducted in larger samples and a more rigorous design.