Background: Mild symptoms of COVID-19 in children may lead to delayed or misdiagnosis. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is an approved laboratory method for detecting COVID-19 virus. Given that COVID-19 is considered an emerging disease, its diagnostic methods in children have not yet been well compared. Therefore, this study was designed to compare RT-PCR, lung CT scan, and anti-COVID-19 antibody results in hospitalized children suspected for COVID-19.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on patients less than 18 years of age, suspected fot COVID-19, and admitted to Shahid Sadoughi Hospital in Yazd, Iran, from February 2020 to February 2021. All hospitalized children who had suspected COVID-19 based on their initial clinical symptoms or signs, and had undergone RT-PCR were included in the study. Demographic data such as age, sex, contact history with COVID-19 patients, clinical manifestations, outcome, comorbidities, and information on other paraclinical procedures were collected by checklist.
Results: In total, 53.3% of the patients were male, and 59% were under five years old. The most common symptom was fever (81%), followed by respiratory distress (34.3%) and diarrhea (26.7%), and cough (19%). Additionally, a significant relationship was observed between respiratory symptoms and a positive PCR test (P = 0.020) and positive lung CT findings (P = 0.017). This study failed to find a significant association between PCR, chest CT scan, and anti-COVID-19 antibody results with ICU admission, endotracheal intubation, and death (P>0.05).
Conclusions: Our findings showed a significant association between respiratory symptoms, positive RT- PCR, and positive CT findings. But ICU admission, endotracheal intubation, and death were not significantly correlated with PCR, chest CT scan, and anti-COVID-19 antibodies