A previously healthy 8-year-old female presents to the pediatric emergency department due to a rash. Her symptoms started three days prior to presentation with a painful rash on her lower extremities. The rash subsequently spread to the buttocks and upper extremities, and she developed intermittent diffuse abdominal pain, a nonproductive cough, and pharyngitis. The patient denies subjective fever. Known sick contacts include the patient’s mother, who tested positive for COVID-19 two and a half weeks prior.
Vitals: T 98.5°F; HR 93; BP 115/68; RR 16; O2 sat 100% on room air
Constitutional: Well-developed and in no acute distress
HEENT: Normocephalic, atraumatic; moist mucus membranes; no conjunctival injection; posterior pharyngeal erythema without exudates; tonsils are three bilaterally; lips are not cracked; no “strawberry tongue”;
Neck: Normal range of motion; no lymphadenopathy
Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm; normal heart sounds and pulses
Pulmonary: Effort is normal; normal breath sounds; no wheezing
Abdominal: Abdomen is flat; minimal tenderness to palpation without guarding; no organomegaly
Skin: Diffuse petechial rash and painful, palpable, nonblanching purpura in the dependent regions (most notable on the buttocks and lower extremities)
COVID-19-Associated Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C): According to CDC criteria, patients must be under 21 years of age, with a fever higher than 38°C/subjective fever for longer than 24 hours, laboratory evidence of inflammation, severe illness requiring hospitalization, and two or more organ systems involved (cardiac, renal, respiratory, hematologic, gastrointestinal, dermatologic, or neurologic), with no alternative plausible diagnoses and recent COVID-19 infection.
Immunoglobulin A Vasculitis (Henoch-Schönlein Purpura): According to the EULAR/PRINTO/PRES criteria, symptoms must include cutaneous findings (palpable purpura or petechiae without the presence of thrombocytopenia), plus at least one of the following: diffuse abdominal pain with acute onset, arthritis/arthralgia, renal involvement in the form of proteinuria or hematuria, or deposition of Immunoglobulin A seen on renal histology.
Kawasaki Disease: The diagnostic criteria include fever for five days or longer and four of the following: bilateral conjunctival injection, cervical lymphadenopathy, polymorphous rash, oral mucous membrane changes (including fissured lips, pharyngeal erythema or strawberry tongue), peripheral extremity changes (edema of the hands/feet or desquamation).
This patient presented with palpable purpura and petechiae without the presence of thrombocytopenia, as well as diffuse abdominal pain. The majority of cases of IgA Vasculitis are preceded by a respiratory pathogen, with the most common being streptococcus, staphylococcus, and parainfluenza virus. Although not well-documented due to its recent conception, COVID-19 is likely to be the cause of this patient’s vasculitis. Usual management of IgA Vasculitis is supportive care, with admission and specialty referral for complications including intussusception and glomerular involvement. Given the severity of the differential diagnoses, this patient was admitted to the hospital for observation and discharged the following day with close follow-up
COVID-19 can cause a variety of rashes in the pediatric population, and appropriate workup including inflammatory markers, complete blood count, and comprehensive metabolic panel must be initiated to rule out severe disease. Consider obtaining a troponin, EKG, chest x-ray, echocardiogram, ferritin, prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, international normalized ratio, fibrinogen, urinalysis and cultures to assess for end-organ damage. If positive, and the patient appears ill, consider Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).
IgA Vasculitis is usually caused by a respiratory pathogen. Keep it on your differential when assessing children who test positive for Covid-19.
Complications of IgA vasculitis include intussusception, heme-positive stool, microscopic hematuria, and periarticular disease.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Alert Network. (2020). Case Definition for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). [online] Available at: https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2020/han00432.asp.
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