Newswise — Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health pediatrician Katharine N. Clouser, MD, contributed to a study comparing outcomes of children and adolescents with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and severe COVID-19. The study, titled “Characteristics and Outcomes of US Children and Adolescents with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Compared with Severe Acute COVID-19,” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Dr. Clouser is a pediatric hospitalist at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, the co-director of the Pediatric COVID-19 Recovery Center, as well as  an assistant professor at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. She has co-authored or contributed to several COVID-19 research papers, and is among the most widely published of the Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health team on the subject.

“By participating in research collaboratives such as this, we’ve been able to learn much more about children to better treat them appropriately,” said Dr. Clouser. 

In the study published in JAMA, researchers wanted to refine the criteria for MIS-C to differentiate between MIS-C and COVID-19 as part of an effort to improve health outcomes. The study, which included 539 patients with MIS-C and 577 patients with severe COVID-19 from 66 hospitals in 31 

U.S. states, found that patients with MIS-C were more likely than those with severe COVID-19 to be 6 to 12 years old, be non-Hispanic Black, and have severe cardiovascular or mucous membrane/skin involvement and more extreme inflammation. 

“Differentiating between severe COVID-19 infection and MIS-C will allow our clinicians to make an accurate diagnosis, monitor patients and administer treatment tailored to their specific condition,” said Judy Aschner, MD, physician-in-chief, Pediatrics, Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health. “And, Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health is uniquely positioned to provide ongoing care for New Jersey’s children and families affected by MIS-C and COVID-19 through our Pediatric COVID-19 Recovery Center.”

“Research on COVID-19 and MIS-C is contributing to enhanced diagnostic criteria and the development of effective treatments for children, as well as adults,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, MD, regional president, Northern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “An accurate diagnosis is key to connecting children and adolescents with the inpatient and outpatient treatment they need.”

Patients with MIS-C had fever, inflammation, multisystem involvement and either positive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test or antibody test results, or recent exposure 

to COVID-19 with no alternate diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 had a positive RT-PCR test and severe organ system involvement.

“Through this important research, our team members are contributing to a more advanced understanding of COVID-19 and MIS-C in some of our youngest patients,” said Mark Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “Multicenter, national research studies such as these provide clinicians across the country with evidence-based information that can be used to accurately diagnose and care for children with MIS-C or COVID-19.”

Dr. Clouser is the co-director of the  Pediatric COVID-19 Recovery Center at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. The center is believed to be the first of its kind in the area to provide comprehensive care by multiple specialists at one location for children who experience lingering or persistent post-COVID or post-MIS-C symptoms – including fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, brain fog, and muscle and joint pain. 


About Hackensack Meridian Children’s HealthHackensack Meridian Children’s Health provides the most comprehensive and highest level of quality care to young patients in the state of New Jersey. The children’s network is comprised of two 

children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune – and a large network of pediatric subspecialists and pediatricians. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital was ranked #1 in New Jersey in the U.S. News & World Report 2021-22 Best Children’s Hospital Report. Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health hospitals are the only two in New Jersey to be ranked among the top 50 in the nation for pediatric cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Visit for more information about Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.