Management of acute abdomen during the active disease course of COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.

Boybeyi-Turer O., Ozsurekci Y. , Gurlevik S. L. , Oygar P. D. , Soyer T., Tanyel F. C.

Surgery today, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00595-022-02512-9
  • Title of Journal : Surgery today
  • Keywords: Abdominal pain, Gastrointestinal symptom, MIS-C, COVID-19, Pandemics, Children


Purpose To evaluate the management of children with severe gastrointestinal symptoms during the disease course of COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). Methods After ethical approval, we reviewed the medical records, retrospectively, of children with COVID-19 or MIS-C requiring surgical consultation for severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Results The subjects comprised 15 children, 13 with MIS-C and 2 with COVID-19. Twelve children (80%) had been in known close contact with a person with SARS-CoV-19 and 13 were positive for Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG. All the children had experienced fever for at least 1 day and had signs of involvement of two or more systems. Three patients required surgical intervention: one underwent surgical exploration with a presumptive diagnosis of acute appendicitis in the referring center and was transported to our center following clinical deterioration, where a diagnosis of MIS-C was confirmed; and the remaining two developed appendicitis during hospitalization for COVID-19. All three patients had a longer duration of abdominal pain, a higher number of lymphocytes, and a lower level of inflammatory markers than the non-surgically managed patients. None of the patients presenting with MIS-C underwent surgical exploration. Conclusion Gastrointestinal involvement may mimic acute abdomen in children with COVID-19. Thus, children presenting with acute abdomen in the pandemic era require careful evaluation and prompt diagnosis to avoid unnecessary surgical intervention.