Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health Pediatrician Contributes to Study on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and COVID-19

Newswise – Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health pediatrician Katharine N. Clouser, MD, contributed to a study comparing the outcomes of children and adolescents with childhood multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) and severe COVID-19. The study, titled “Characteristics and Outcomes of U.S. Children and Adolescents with Childhood Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) Compared to Severe Acute COVID-19,” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

dr. Clouser is a pediatric hospital physician at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, the co-director of the Pediatric COVID-19 Recovery Center, as well as an assistant professor at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. She has co-authored or contributed to several COVID-19 research papers and is among the Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health team’s most published on the subject.

“By participating in research collaborations like this, we’ve been able to learn a lot more about children in order to better treat them,” said Dr. clouser.

In the study published in JAMA, researchers wanted to refine the criteria for MIS-C to differentiate between MIS-C and COVID-19 as part of an effort to improve health outcomes. The study, with 539 patients with MIS-C and 577 patients with severe COVID-19 from 66 hospitals in 31

US states, found that patients with MIS-C were more likely than patients with severe COVID-19 to be 6 to 12 years old, be non-Hispanic black, and have severe cardiovascular or mucosal/skin involvement and more extreme inflammation .

“Distinguishing between severe COVID-19 infection and MIS-C allows our clinicians to accurately diagnose, monitor patients, and administer treatment tailored to their specific condition,” said Judy Aschner, MD, Pediatrics Chief Physician, Hackensack Meridian Children’s health. “And Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health is uniquely positioned to provide ongoing care for the New Jersey children and families affected by MIS-C and COVID-19 through our Pediatric COVID-19 Recovery Center.”

“Research on COVID-19 and MIS-C is contributing to improved diagnostic criteria and the development of effective treatments for both children and adults,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, MD, regional president, Northern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “An accurate diagnosis is key to connecting children and adolescents to the inpatient and outpatient treatment they need.”

Patients with MIS-C had fever, inflammation, multisystem involvement and either positive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test or antibody test results, or recent exposure

on COVID-19 with no alternative diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 had a positive RT-PCR test and severe organ system involvement.

“Through this important research, our team members are contributing to a more advanced understanding of COVID-19 and MIS-C in some of our youngest patients,” said Mark Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “Multicenter, national research studies like this one provide clinicians across the country with evidence-based information that can be used to accurately diagnose and care for children with MIS-C or COVID-19.”

dr. Clouser is co-director of the Pediatric COVID-19 Recovery Center at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. The center is believed to be the first of its kind in the area to provide comprehensive care by multiple specialists in one location for children experiencing persistent or persistent post-COVID or post-MIS-C symptoms, including fatigue, chest pain , shortness of breath, brain fog, and muscle and joint pain.

About Hackensack Meridian Children’s HealthHackensack Meridian Children’s Health provides the most comprehensive and quality care to young patients in the state of New Jersey. The children’s network consists of two

children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune – and a large network of pediatric subspecialists and pediatricians. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital was ranked #1 in New Jersey in the US News & World Report 2021-22 Best Children’s Hospital Report. Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health hospitals are the only two in New Jersey to be in the top 50 in the nation for childhood cancer, according to US News & World Report. To learn more about Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health, visit www.hackensackmerdianhealth.org/kids.

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