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29-04-2021 | BSR 2021 | Conference coverage | News

News in brief

​​​​​​​COVID-19 outcomes described in children with rheumatic diseases taking biologics

Claire Barnard

medwireNews: An analysis of children with rheumatic diseases undergoing treatment with biologic agents has found no severe cases of COVID-19.

The Russian study, presented at the online British Society for Rheumatology 2021 Annual Conference, included 118 children (76% girls) with various rheumatic diseases, the majority of whom had a diagnosis of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (88%). The most commonly prescribed biologic was etanercept (34%), followed by adalimumab (28%) and tocilizumab (20%); most patients (79%) were also taking methotrexate.

Nadezhda Tsurikova (Children's Clinical Regional Hospital, Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation) reported that four of the children had flu-like symptoms and a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19.

Among the 10 patients who had documented contact with a person with COVID-19, two had flu-like symptoms and tested positive, one was asymptomatic and tested positive, while the remaining seven were asymptomatic and tested negative. None of the patients with COVID-19 developed SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.

Although there were “no registered severe cases of COVID-19” in the study, Tsurikova cautioned that “further follow-up is needed to better understand the risk and impact of COVID-19 among children with rheumatic diseases […] receiving therapy with biological agents.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

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BSR Annual Conference 2021; 26–28 April