Respiratory Manifestations, Radiologic Findings and Respiratory Management of Hospitalized children with COVID-19 among Different Age Groups: A Systematic Review

  • Maria Cristina H. Lozada
  • Fides Roxanne M. Castor
  • Kevin L. Bautista
Keywords: COVID-19, pediatric, respiratory, management


Objective. This paper aims to determine the respiratory manifestations, radiologic findings, and management of coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) among the hospitalized children of different age groups based on a systematic review of literature.

Methodology. We searched the MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and MedRvrix databases for relevant studies on pediatric COVID-19 done between January 1 to May 25, 2020. Data on demographic features, pulmonary symptoms, chest imaging findings, and oxygen support were extracted in a data abstraction form and analyzed among the different pediatric age groups.

Results. Sixteen studies were included in this systematic review, with a total of 61 patients. Thirty-nine patients (64%) belong to the 2 to 12 year age group. Cough was the most commonly reported respiratory symptoms among children older than one month. Most of the patients, particularly adolescents, had asymptomatic or mild infection. On chest imaging, infiltrates and ground-glass opacities were the most common abnormalities. Oxygen supplementation via nasal cannula, non-invasive ventilation, and mechanical ventilation was noted in three cases.

Conclusion. Our systematic review shows that COVID-19 can present with a spectrum of respiratory manifestations and disease severity as well as a variety of radiologic abnormalities across different pediatric age groups. Whilemost children do not develop hypoxemia warranting oxygen supplementation, a severe respiratory infection can still manifest in children. Asymptomatic and milder infections are common and highlight the need for appropriate respiratory precautions. More pediatric studies on the pulmonary manifestations and management of children with COVID-19 can aid in a better understanding of this novel disease.