Maculopapular rash and fever: a diagnostic challenge to the paediatrician in the COVID-19 pandemic

Maria Cristina Maggio, Clara Giambrone, Domenico Romano

Risultato della ricerca: Conference articlepeer review


Introduction: Several clinical conditions can manifest with fever and a maculopapular rash in paediatric age. Although some presentations are benign, others may be medical emergencies, which demand a prompt diagnosis and treatment. Some of the more common causes of fever and maculopapular rash include infectious diseases (Sars-CoV-2, Parvovirus B19; Coxsackie; Epstein-Barr virus infection, Mycoplasma Pneumoniae, etc), hypersensitivity reactions, Autoinflammatory syndromes, vasculitis, Kawasaki disease (KD), autoimmune diseases.Objectives: In the COVID-19 pandemic era these symptoms need a well-organized hospital strategy to rapidly exclude Sars-CoV-2 infection and to distinguish severe and rapidly developing patients.Methods: We evaluated the medical records of children admitted to a paediatric tertiary centre in the years 2020-202, excluding children with suspected or documented COVID-19 infection.Results: We retrospectively identified 21 patients (13M; 9F), age: 0.7-12 years, admitted with the diagnosis of fever and rash and with a definite diagnosis. 10 children had a documented infection (2 Mycoplasma; 2 Parvovirus; 5 EBV; 1 Adenovirus); 3 patients had a KD; 4 had an autoimmune disease; 3 had an Autoinflammatory syndrome, 1 a vasculitis; 1 had a Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS). Distribution of the rash, a persistent/vanishing rash, the associated lymphadenopathy did not contribute to the differential diagnosis. Haemoglobin levels were significantly lower in KD (8.3-11.2). CRP was significantly higher in KD (3.23-34) vs autoimmune diseases and Autoinflammatory syndromes. The other laboratory parameters did not contribute to the differential diagnosis, otherwise reached by specific IgM and PCR. In children with clinical signs of suspicion of Autoinflammatory syndromes, the genetic approach permitted to reach the treat-to-target.Conclusion: The numerous viral skin diseases that affect children present a diagnostic challenge to the clinician In some situations, viral rash may be difficult to clinically differentiate from nonviral diseases; extensive laboratory evaluation isolates the virus. Otherwise, autoimmune diseases must be excluded and, in this suspicion, the alert must be high to promptly diagnose a MAS. A most severe presentation can hide the first attack of an Autoinflammatory syndrome: hence, the genetic study of these condition is a milestone in the differential diagnosis and avoid a diagnostic delay.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2021

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