Neck inflammation is common in multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, new research in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society found.

Elan Jenkins, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, and colleagues identified 137 children diagnosed with MIS-C between March 2020 and Jan. 20, 2021, at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Of the 137 patients with a diagnosis of MIS-C, 39 (28.5%) had neck-related symptoms, with 38 patients reporting neck pain. Three patients had trismus and five reported drooling, dysphagia or difficulty swallowing, according to Jenkins and colleagues.

Twelve patients underwent neck imaging, and four had evidence of retropharyngeal edema/inflammation. All patients treated for retropharyngeal edema were aged 13 years or older.

According to the authors, retropharyngeal edema has been documented in Kawasaki disease, which has been compared with MIS-C. All MIS-C patients with retropharyngeal edema were aged 4 years and older, “which is incongruent with the typical epidemiologic distribution of purulent retropharyngeal infection,” Jenkins and colleagues wrote.

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