Preventing coronary artery abnormalities: a need for earlier diagnosis and treatment of Kawasaki disease

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2012 Dec;31(12):1217-20. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e318266bcf9.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the timing of coronary artery (CA) abnormalities in light of the expanding clinical spectrum of Kawasaki disease (KD).

Methods: We reviewed all cases of KD admitted to Children's Hospital Colorado from January 2007 through February 2011 who had CA abnormalities. A retrospective chart review was conducted to collect demographic, clinical, laboratory and echocardiogram (ECHO) data. CA abnormalities were defined as Z score ≥2.5 or presence of ectasia or aneurysms.

Results: A total of 210 patients with KD were identified. Fifty-seven (27.1%) of the 210 children with KD had CA abnormalities. Forty-six of the 57 (81%) children with CA abnormalities had CA abnormalities noted on their initial ECHO. Of the 46 children who had CA abnormalities detected on their initial ECHO, 37 (80%) had their ECHO on or before illness day 10. The median day of illness when abnormalities were detected on initial ECHO was day 7 (interquartile range: 5-8; range: 2-24 days). Only 25 of the 46 children (54%) were classified as complete KD, but 40 (87%) had the triad of conjunctivitis, rash and mucous membrane involvement. Thirteen (28%) had intravenous immunoglobulin-resistant disease.

Conclusion: The majority of CA abnormalities in children with KD were identified in the initial ECHO, during the first week of illness. Earlier diagnosis and treatment is needed to impact the incidence of CA abnormalities in children with KD. Increased clinical suspicion and earlier use of ECHO in the initial workup of children with suspected KD may lead to more rapid diagnosis and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Colorado / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / prevention & control*
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / complications*
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies