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Background: Although significant disease burden in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic has been relatively uncommon in children, worldwide cases of a postinfectious multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and possible atypical Kawasaki-like disease attributing to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection have arisen. Original thinking for coronavirus disease-19 disease was that an overwhelming proinflammatory response drove disease pathogenesis. Emerging reports suggest that a robust immune suppression may be more relevant and predominant. Recently reported data on children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children have demonstrated a heterogeneity of immune phenotypes among these patients, with concern for a strong initial proinflammatory state; however, data are lacking to support this. Likewise, understanding development of certain clinical findings to changes in the immune system is lacking. Case Summary: We report a 12-year-old multiracial male with negative coronavirus disease-19 nasopharyngeal RNA polymerase chain reaction testing but positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 serology, subsequent development of vasodilatory shock with myocardial depression, and subsequent delayed development of coronary artery dilatation after resolution of myocardial depression. Unlike previous reported cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, he exhibited profound lymphopenia without specific inflammatory cytokines elevations, whereas nonspecific markers (ferritin and C-reactive protein) were increased. He subsequently was discharged on day 12 of hospitalization with complete recovery. Conclusion: Our representative case of a patient with coronavirus disease-19-associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children without robust hyperinflammation and a delayed finding of coronary artery dilatation compared with reported case series highlights the need for further mechanistic understanding of coronavirus disease-19 disease and subsequent multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or Kawasaki disease development. This report offers a number of disease mechanisms and clinical evolution considerations for further elucidation to guide development of potential therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E0236
JournalCritical Care Explorations
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Kawasaki disease
  • coronavirus disease-19
  • immune suppression
  • multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children
  • research


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