Surprising New COVID-19 Associations

Surprising New COVID-19 Associations

An unexpected number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 experience acute neurological complications.

A new study in Pediatrics reveals an association between COVID-19 infection and neurological complications in children, with seizures being the most prevalent. The study's authors examined CHA's Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) data of children who were admitted and hospitalized with COVID-19 at 49 large children's hospitals across the U.S.

"We found that acute neurological complications are relatively common in children hospitalized with COVID-19 and that these complications are almost uniformly associated with worse hospital outcomes," says James W. Antoon, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics, division of Hospital Medicine, Vanderbilt University, and co-author of the study.

Antoon says early recognition and treatment for these complications may lead to improvement in hospital outcomes in children. "This study also opens the door to other important clinical questions regarding children and COVID-19. For example, does early treatment of COVID-19 with antivirals or steroids prevent or mitigate neurologic complications? Do these neurologic complications translate or contribute to worse long-term outcomes? These are important questions that children's hospitals can help answer."

by the numbers


had a concurrent diagnosis of a neurologic complication.


did not have an underlying neurologic condition.


with a neurological complication did not have a complex chronic condition. 

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