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Interleukin-6 Is a Promising Marker of COVID-19 in Children: A Case Series of 2 Brothers with Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia

  • Autori: Maggio, Maria Cristina; Failla, Maria Concetta; Giordano, Salvatore; La Manna, Marco Pio; Sireci, Guido
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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BACKGROUND To date, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains a global health concern, with fatalities mostly in older age groups with underlying medical conditions, while children are less likely to manifest severe symptoms. CASE REPORT We describe the clinical cases of 2 brothers admitted to our Children's Hospital for persistent fever and cough during the COVID-19 pandemic. Case 1. A 1.5-year-old boy had fever, expiratory dyspnea, desaturation, oxygen saturation 94-96% with O2, and bilateral hissing and crackling rales. His interleukin-6 level in the acute phase of the disease was 100.41 and at the resolution it was 46.2 pg/ml. Treatment with amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid, methylprednisolone, and O2 allowed progressive improvement of clinical conditions and laboratory data. Case 2. A 3-month-old toddler was admitted to our hospital for fever, cough, and tachypnea, which started 2 days before hospitalization. He had fever, cough, conjunctivitis, mucous rhinorrhea, and 99% oxygen saturation on room air. Thorax auscultation showed whistles and buzzes. He had a positive molecular test result from a COVID-19 swab. Interleukin-6 levels during all the phases of the disease were <6.25 pg/ml. The chest X-ray was normal. Treatment with azithromycin and methylprednisolone was followed by progressive improvement of clinical conditions. CONCLUSIONS These cases support the strong correlation between interleukin-6 levels and severe clinical manifestations such as COVID-19 pneumonia, and this marker predicts a more severe clinical outcome in children. Testing serum levels of interleukin-6 in children with COVID-19 could be useful to better understand the outcome of lung damage.