Neurological Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Pediatric Patients

Donghwa Yang, Hoon Chul Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes various neurological symptoms in children, as well as respiratory symptoms, and the number of reported cases is increasing with the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants. This study aimed to investigate the neurological symptoms and incidence in pediatric patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of patients under the age of 18 diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital using real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction from December 2020 to March 2022. We reviewed data on the age of confirmed COVID-19 patients, fever, and respiratory, gastrointes-tinal, and neurological symptoms. We evaluated the chief complaints of hospitalization and classified them as non-neurological or neurological, according to the chief complaints that caused the most discomfort. Results: Among 376 patients, 63 (16.8%) and 313 (83.2%) patients were classified as having neurological and non-neurological symptoms, respectively. The most common neurological symptoms were headache (49, 13.0%), followed by seizures (39, 10.4%), myalgia (24, 6.4%), and diz-ziness (14, 3.7%). Additionally, there were patients with anosmia (nine, 2.4%), ageusia (four, 1.1%), and visual disturbance (two, 0.5%). Of the 39 patients who experienced seizures, 15 (15/39, 51.7%) had no symptoms except fever, and seizures were the only main presenting symptom of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusion: Neurological symptoms are common in pediatric COVID-19 patients. Seizures can be an early symptom of SARS-CoV-2 infection and should not be underestimated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Child Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital grant (NHIMC2022CR038).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Korean Child Neurology Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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