Evidence of lung perfusion defects and ongoing inflammation in an adolescent with post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection
Authors: D Buonsenso, DD Giuda, L Sigfrid, DA Pizzuto, GD Sante, CD Rose, I Lazzareschi, M Sali, F Baldi, DPR Chieffo, D Munblit, P Valentini
Published in: The Lancet
Although more patients are surviving COVID-19, there are emerging data on a substantial proportion of patients with persisting, and often debilitating, symptoms and sequelae for months following acute COVID-19. This scenario is commonly referred to as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) or long COVID.1 Some of the most commonly reported symptoms are fatigue, weakness, breathlessness, chest pain, and concentration impairment. Several independent studies have shown the existence of PASC, with chronic inflammation and chronic endothelial disease suggested among the possible pathophysiological mechanisms of this multifaceted condition.1 Although the course of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is normally milder and can present with less typical symptoms compared with adults, emerging evidence from Sweden, Italy, the UK, and Russia suggests that children can also have persisting symptoms more than 3 months after acute COVID-19, with a similar pattern of symptoms as reported by adults. In light of an increasing number of parents and clinicians asking for guidance and support for children with PASC in our centre, we have set up a post-COVID Paediatric Unit. Children with a microbiologically confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 are assessed in our post-COVID Paediatric Unit at least 5 weeks after the onset of acute infection (see the appendix for our post-COVID paediatric follow-up protocol).
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