Hosp Pediatr. 2022 Feb 1;12(2):229-240. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2021-006059.
OBJECTIVES: Describe clinical characteristics of adolescents hospitalized with e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and to investigate association between EVALI and coagulopathy.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adolescents admitted to the general inpatient or ICUs at 2 major tertiary children's hospitals from January 2019 to June 2021. We included analysis of demographics, clinical findings, laboratory and imaging results, and outcomes.
RESULTS: Forty-four hospitalizations met diagnostic criteria for inclusion per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, with 55% of patients admitted after April 2020. Compared with adults, pediatric patients were less likely to present with pulmonary symptoms. Significant laboratory work included elevated white blood cell count of 14.3 k/uL (confidence interval [CI], 13.7-15.0) with neutrophilic predominance, C-reactive protein of 25.2 mg/dL (CI, 22.1-28.2), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate of 66.7 mm/hour (CI, 26.9-76.4). Chest radiographs were poor predictors of disease in 53% of our patients but computed tomography was 100% sensitive. Significant coagulation abnormalities included prothrombin time of 17.7 seconds (CI, 16.4-19.1) and international normalized ratio of 1.54 (CI, 1.43-1.66). Coagulation studies improved with vitamin K and steroid administration. Nine of 16 patients (56%) had abnormal diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide divided by alveolar volume <80% predicted, suggesting evidence of pulmonary vascular disease, or >100%, suggesting pulmonary hemorrhage.
CONCLUSIONS: EVALI continues to be an important differential diagnosis in the adolescent population. EVALI is likely a result of systemic inflammation with consequences beyond the pulmonary system. The novel report of coagulopathy among adolescents with EVALI in this cohort reveals an opportunity to detect coagulopathy and initiate early therapy.