MIS-C May Pose Lasting Effects on a Child’s Heart

By Kate Anastas
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a condition that causes widespread inflammation to a child’s vital organ systems, including the cardiovascular system.

According to the CDC’s October 2020 statistics:


Number of confirmed MIS-C cases in 44 states


Percentage of MIS-C cases tested positive for SARS CoV-2


Percentage of MIS-C patients who were in close proximity with someone diagnosed with COVID-19


Percentage of cases occurring in Hispanic, Latino and Black populations

Case Studies Reviewed

A recent medical literature review published in EClinicalMedicine, a journal of The Lancet, reviewed 662 worldwide cases of MIS-C to provide more insight on the condition. Alvaro Moreira, MD, MSc, a neonatologist, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio and contributor to the study, shares what is currently known about the cardiovascular implications of MIS-C:

  • Up to 71% of reviewed cases were admitted to intensive care.
  • Approximately 60% of cases reviewed presented with cardiac collapse or shock.
  • More than half of the 60% of cases presenting with cardiac collapse or shock required cardiac medication to deliver oxygen to tissues.
  • Out of 90% of children who had an EKG, 54% had abnormal results.
  • 11 of the 662 patients died.

Cardiac Damage

  • Dilation of coronary blood vessels
  • Reduced ejection fraction
  • Aneurysm of coronary vessels

Hope for Treatment

Most children responded well to a quick administration of glucocorticosteroids and intravenous immunoglobulin.

Questions Still to Be Answered

  • How many children will have long-term consequences to their heart?
  • Can we predict which patients will have serious cardiovascular complications?
  • Why are people of certain races and ethnicities more prone to develop the condition?
  • How is MIS-C comparable to MIS-A (Adult)?

MIS-C Signs to Watch for in Patient Care

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Decreased function of heart and lungs
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Persistent fever
  • Rash
*It’s very important for children diagnosed with MIS-C to have regular check-ups, especially of the heart. This can lead to a more prompt recognition of MIS-C complications and an immediate course of treatment. Children diagnosed with MIS-C should also have regular follow-ups with a cardiologist to monitor increased lifetime risk of clots, heart attack and stroke.