Intestinal Involvement in Kawasaki Disease

J Pediatr. 2018 Nov;202:186-193. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.06.034. Epub 2018 Jul 17.


Objectives: To describe a case of Kawasaki disease with intestinal involvement and to analyze other published reports to define clinical characteristics, diagnostic issues, and therapeutic approaches of gastrointestinal involvement in Kawasaki disease.

Study design: A computerized search without language restriction was conducted using PubMed and SCOPUS. An article was considered eligible for inclusion in the systematic review if it reported data on patient(s) with intestinal involvement in Kawasaki disease. Our case was also included in the analysis.

Results: Thirty-three articles reporting 48 cases of Kawasaki disease with intestinal involvement were considered. Fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting were the most frequent symptoms observed and typical Kawasaki disease signs and symptoms appeared after intestinal complaints in all cases. Plain radiographs, ultrasonography, and computed tomography showed pseudo-obstruction as the most frequent sign of gastrointestinal involvement; 25 patients underwent surgery. Cardiac involvement was documented in 21 cases. All but three patients received medical treatment with immunoglobulin intravenous or aspirin. The outcome was good in 28 patients; 7 patients showed persistence of coronary artery abnormalities; 1 patient developed cyanosis, and later, left hand and forefoot gangrene; 3 patients died.

Conclusions: The diagnosis and treatment of Kawasaki disease might be delayed if intestinal symptoms appear before the characteristic clinical features of Kawasaki disease, thus, increasing the risk of cardiac complications. Furthermore, patients may undergo unnecessary invasive procedures. Pediatricians and pediatric surgeons, therefore, should consider Kawasaki disease among diagnoses in children with fever, abdominal symptoms, and radiologic findings of pseudo-obstruction.

Keywords: Bowel disease; Kawasaki; abdominal pain; coronary artery aneurysm; intestinal pseudo-obstruction; pediatric gastroenterology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adolescent
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fever / diagnosis
  • Fever / etiology
  • Hematologic Tests / methods
  • Hepatomegaly / diagnosis
  • Hepatomegaly / diagnostic imaging
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / administration & dosage*
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Splenomegaly / diagnosis
  • Splenomegaly / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous