COVID-19 in children and adolescents: MIS(-C)-taken diagnoses

M. van der Steen*, P.L. Leroy, G.J.A. Driessen, M.A.G.E. Bannier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is an inflammatory condition associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is characterized by fever, gastro-intestinal symptoms, cardiovascular complications, conjunctivitis, skin involvement, elevated inflammatory markers, and coagulation abnormalities. The current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causes an increased alertness to MIS-C. In combination with the heterogeneous clinical spectrum, this could potentially lead to diagnostic blindness, misdiagnosis of MIS-C, and overtreatment with expensive IVIG treatment. This report demonstrates the challenge of accurately distinguishing MIS-C from other more common inflammatory pediatric diseases, and the need to act with caution to avoid misdiagnoses in the current pandemic. We present a case series of 11 patients suspected of MIS-C based on the current definitions. Three of them were eventually diagnosed with a different disease.Conclusion: Current definitions and diagnostic criteria lack specificity which potentially leads to misdiagnosis and overtreatment of MIS-C. We emphasize the need to act with caution in order to avoid MIS(-C)-taken diagnoses in the current pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3549-3554
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number9
Early online date21 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Pediatrics
  • MIS-C

Cite this