HealthDay News — Teens continued to present similarly with electronic cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) during the pandemic, according to a study published online December 18 in Pediatric Pulmonology.

Bayan Abdallah, MD, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues retrospectively evaluated electronic health records for adolescents (aged 13 to 18 years) hospitalized at one institution with EVALI. Clinical characteristics and hospital course were compared for adolescents hospitalized before and during the pandemic (19 and 22 individuals, respectively).

The researchers found that the clinical presentation of adolescents hospitalized prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic were similar with respect to constitutional, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Only 1 patient hospitalized during the pandemic had a positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 real-time polymerase chain reaction test result. Among the 39 patients treated with corticosteroids, 79% had clinical improvement within 24 hours. Shorter median length of stay (5 vs 7 days) was seen for patients hospitalized during the pandemic, and they were less often discharged with home oxygen (1 vs 6 patients). Pulmonary function tests improved from post-corticosteroid treatment to follow-up.

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“Eliciting a history of vaping in adolescents presenting with constitutional, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms is important to identify EVALI cases, which have continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors write.

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