Review of clinical characteristics and laboratory findings of COVID-19 in children-Systematic review and Meta-analysis


OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the prevalence of various clinical symptoms and laboratory findings of COVID-19 in children.
METHODS: PubMed, MEDLINE, and SCOPUS databases were searched to include studies conducted between January 1, 2020, and July 15, 2020 which reported data about clinical characteristics and laboratory findings in laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in pediatric patients. Random effects meta-analysis using generalized linear mixed models was used to estimate the pooled prevalence.
RESULTS: The most prevalent symptom of COVID-19 in children was 46.17% (95%CI 39.18-53.33%), followed by cough (40.15%, 95%CI 34.56-46.02%). Less common symptoms were found to be dyspnea, vomiting, nasal congestion/rhinorrhea, diarrhea, sore throat/pharyngeal congestion, headache, and fatigue. The prevalence of asymptomatic children was 17.19% (95%CI 11.02-25.82%).
The most prevalent laboratory findings in COVID-19 children were elevated Creatinine Kinase (26.86%, 95%CI 16.15-41.19%) and neutropenia (25.76%, 95%CI 13.96-42.58%). These were followed by elevated LDH, thrombocytosis, lymphocytosis, neutrophilia, elevated D Dimer, Elevated CRP, elevated ESR, leukocytosis, elevated AST and leukopenia. There was a low prevalence of elevated ALT and lymphopenia in children with COVID- 19.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study provides estimates of the pooled prevalence of various symptoms and laboratory findings of COVID-19 in the pediatric population.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Funding Statement

Funding sources- NIH NHLBI T32HL129956 (LS)

Author Declarations

I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.


The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:

Since this is a meta-analysis IRB approval was not required

All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.


I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).


I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.


Data Availability

Studies referred to in the manuscript are available freely in pubmed.

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