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 sources- NIH NHLBI T32HL129956 (LS)
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Studies referred to in the manuscript are available freely in pubmed.