Children’s Takes Part in NIH-Funded Study of MIS-C

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of pediatric medicine has had to address a novel condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Some features of MIS-C resemble another condition called Kawasaki disease. Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is part of a consortium, led by project principal investigator Cedric Manlhiot, PhD, at Johns Hopkins University, which recently received research funding from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. The grant is entitled, “A data science approach to identify and manage MIS-C associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and Kawasaki disease in pediatric patients.” Jean Ballweg, MD, associate professor in Pediatric Cardiology, is the site principal investigator at Children’s, one of the numerous study sites positioned to recruit patients.

The project is funded with a two-phase R61/R33 grant mechanism. The first two-year phase includes large-scale data collection and creation of machine learning-based predictive algorithms for diagnosis and management of MIS-C. In the second two-year phase the investigators will validate and evaluate clinical utility of the algorithms in a scalable clinical decision support system, ultimately aimed at enhancing the care of patients with suspected MIS-C or Kawasaki disease.

Data on all patients admitted to Children’s with SARS-CoV-2 MIS-C or Kawasaki disease will be collected. This data will include serial echocardiographic measurements of ventricular systolic and diastolic function, coronary artery size and presence/absence of coronary aneurysm formation, presenting symptoms, laboratory findings including cardiac biomarkers and serial electrocardiographic data. Additionally, race, ethnicity and location data will be collected. When possible, biospecimens will also be requested from these patients.