The effect of Kawasaki disease on cognition and behavior

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000 May;154(5):463-8. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.154.5.463.


Objective: To determine whether there are associated long-term deficits in the cognitive, academic, or behavioral outcomes of children with a previous episode of Kawasaki disease.

Design: Cohort analytic study.

Setting: A tertiary care pediatric hospital in Ottawa, Ontario.

Participants: Thirty-two patients with a past diagnosis of Kawasaki disease. Siblings of the patients with Kawasaki disease were eligible to be controls.

Measures: A blinded psychometrist (Y.K.) assessed cognition by the appropriate Wechsler Intelligence scale, academic achievement by the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, and behavior by the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist.

Results: No differences were found in cognitive or academic measures and the mean scores corresponded closely to national norms. Parents rated their children who had Kawasaki disease as having significantly more internalizing (P<.03) and attentional (P<.02) behavior problems than controls; the risk of a clinically significant behavioral score was 3.3 times greater (P<.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-9.9) than for sibling controls.

Conclusions: While no effect on cognitive development or academic performance was demonstrated, these results provide preliminary indication of a post-Kawasaki disease deficit in internalizing and attentional behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / complications*
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / psychology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Ontario / epidemiology