Objectives:

It is unknown to what extent coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) may co-occur with acute pancreatitis (AP) in children and how their clinical course may differ from children with AP alone.


Methods:

An online survey was sent to pediatric gastroenterologists to report on COVID-19 and AP cases from December 11, 2020, to February 26, 2021.


Results:

From 72 respondents (20 countries, 5 continents), 22 cases of positive COVID-19 infection and AP were reported. Patients were predominantly White or Hispanic/Latinx (73%), female (68%), and adolescents (68%). For 86% of patients, this was their first episode of AP. Sixty-eight percent of positive COVID-19 tests were polymerase chain reaction based. There was significant morbidity; 60% required intensive care, 45% had multiorgan involvement, and 24% developed shock. Eleven percent had pancreatic necrosis. Abnormal clotting and systemic inflammatory laboratories were common (31%-92% and 93%, respectively). Median length of symptomatic pancreatitis recovery was 1.8× longer than AP without COVID-19.


Conclusions:

Coronavirus 2019 infection and AP co-occur primarily in children without a prior history of pancreatitis. Given the increased need for intensive care, multiorgan involvement, and potentially higher risk for pancreatic necrosis, pediatric providers should have a high level of suspicion for AP in children with COVID-19 infection.

Source