Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children: Predicting severity and treatments for better outcomes




Scientific study title:

Precision Decisions in MIS-C: Towards improving outcomes in children with COVID-19



Principal Investigators:

Susanne Benseler, MD, PhD, Director, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Pediatric Rheumatologist, Alberta Children’s Hospital
Professor of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Husky Energy Chair in Child and Maternal Health
Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Pediatric Research
Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada

Elie Haddad, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Head, Pediatric Immunology and Rheumatology Division, Université de Montréal, CHU Sainte-Justine

Rae Yeung, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Professor of Immunology, University of Toronto



Quaid Donald Morris, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre


Study Start Date:

March 2022

Study End Date:

February 2024


Why do this research?

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) can occur weeks after a mild or even asymptomatic infection of COVID-19. During each new wave of COVID-19, previously healthy children are showing up at hospital in shock and heart failure, due to uncontrolled inflammation. This new syndrome closely resembles Kawasaki Disease (KD). KD is the result of an infection, which triggers an over active immune system, resulting in fever and inflammation of the blood vessels and coronary arteries. One in four children with MIS-C develops coronary artery inflammation. Health care teams need to rapidly recognize MIS-C, identify high risk children and control the life-threatening inflammation before it damages the child’s heart.

Our team has studied KD and has identified new medications for improved outcomes. The lessons learned from KD are transferrable to MIS-C to guide the development of new treatment approaches.



What will be done?

In this study, we will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to rapidly diagnose MIS-C and predict which child will develop severe disease. This has worked previously with other diseases. The information will be shared with other countries to rapidly improve care for children affected by MIS-C.


Who is involved?

Our team includes doctors, scientists, and affected families working together to tackle this serious disease.  We have a strong and deeply committed Canada-wide team, with the expertise and infrastructure already in place. We have key partners in Europe and the USA, using the same processes so that data can be shared more efficiently.  


Funding Agency

Canadian Institutes of Health Research