Examining Symptoms and Risk Factors of Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC) in Pediatric Populations

Natalie Benjamin, PhD

Boston Children’s Hospital – Fellow
BENJAMIN_NATALIE poster

Scientific Abstract

Background: Little is known about long-term outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., COVID-19) infection in pediatric populations. Up to 42.6% of pediatric patients experience at least one persistent symptom 60 days from initial infection (Buonsenso et al., 2021). Symptoms of Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC) are varied and may significantly impact functioning. It is crucial to determine the risk factors that predispose youth to PASC, and furthermore to identify the physiological and psychological characteristics of these patients. We describe two studies underway at Boston Children’s Hospital. Study 1 aims to establish risk factors that underlie this response to COVID-19 infection; Study 2 aims to establish a clinical picture of PASC patients to develop appropriate interventions and effectively serve these patients.

Methods: Study 1 identifies BCH patients previously diagnosed with COVID-19. Participants complete baseline and follow-up self-report surveys, including information on medical/psychological history and current symptoms for 3, 6, 9, and 12 months following diagnosis. In Study 2, patients presenting to the BCH PASC clinic complete measures of current medical/psychological symptoms prior to their initial appointment with Infectious Disease (ID). Following this, patients are referred to subspecialty clinics based on their clinical presentation. 

Results: Case example: 16-year-old female with a history of COVID-19 infection in January 2021. She presented to ID on 10/12/21 for evaluation of PASC symptoms following COVID-19 infection. She was referred to Cardiology, GI, and Pain Treatment (had already seen Pulmonary). She was seen in Pain Clinic on 12/8/21 for multidisciplinary evaluation by pain physician, physical therapist, and pain psychology fellow. She was provided medical, physical therapy, and psychology treatment recommendations based on her evaluation. 

Conclusions: These studies aim to identify risk factors and clinical characteristics of pediatric patients with PASC in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Results will inform timely and effective treatments of this condition.

Live Zoom Session – March 9th

research Areas

Authors

Natalie Benjamin, PhD, Leah Reece, PsyD, Claire McEwen, Alicia Johnston, MD, Catherine Lachenauer, MD, Christine Greco, MD, Neil Schechter, MD, Deirdre Logan, PhD

Principal Investigator

Deirdre Logan, PhD