Background. Malnutrition increases the complications and mortality in critically-ill children. We performed a retrospective analysis to define the impact of malnutrition on the outcomes of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) due to COVID-19.

Methods. Patients with MIS-C were evaluated for demographic features, anthropometric parameters, clinical findings and outcomes. Patients with z scores of body mass index (> 5 years) and weight-for-age (< 5 years) < -2 were considered malnourished. Sarcopenia was defined by total psoas muscle area (tPMA), calculated on abdominal computed tomography (CT) at the level of L3 and L4 vertebrae. The z scores <- 2 for tPMA were considered sarcopenia. The results of patients with and without malnutrition were compared.

Results. Twenty-seven patients were included. Forty-four percent (n=12) of patients had malnutrition. Malnutrition was classified as mild to moderate (1/3), severe (1/3) and overweight (1/3). Eighty-two % of cases had acute malnutrition. Among MIS-C symptom criteria, rash was significantly higher in children with malnutrition (p<0.05). Laboratory investigations showed higher ferritin levels in patients with malnutrition (p<0.05). The median tPMA and sarcopenia were significantly higher in patients with malnutrition when compared to patients without malnutrition (42% vs 7%, p<0.05). The oral feeding time, complication rates, and length of hospital stay were similar in both groups (p>0.05).

Conclusion. Children with MIS-C already had mild to severe malnutrition at admission. Rash and higher ferritin levels were more common in patients with malnutrition. In addition to anthropometric parameters, sarcopenia calculated using tPMA can be used to predict malnutrition in critically-ill children.

Keywords: malnutrition, COVID-19, multisystem inflammatory syndrome, sarcopenia

How to cite

Soyer T, Aykaç K, Özer G, et al. The role of malnutrition on outcomes of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) due to COVID-19. Turk J Pediatr 2024; 66: 171-179. https://doi.org/10.24953/turkjpediatr.2024.4586


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