Kawasaki Disease Shock Syndrome: Clinical Characteristics and Possible Use of IL-6, IL-10 and IFN-γ as Biomarkers for Early Recognition

Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2019 Jan 5;17(1):1. doi: 10.1186/s12969-018-0303-4.


Background: As an acute febrile and inflammatory disease, Kawasaki disease (KD) could develop Kawasaki disease shock syndrome (KDSS) sometimes. However its pathogenesis was still not well known. This study was to learn more about the clinical features and evaluate the role of cytokines in the pathogenesis of KDSS.

Methods: We collected clinical and laboratory data retrospectively for all patients with KDSS(KDSS, n = 27)who were hospitalized at our hospital from Jan 2014 to Oct 2017. For patient with KDSS, we randomly identified 43 patients with KD as control subjects (KD, n = 43). Clinical features, laboratory evaluations were collected. Cytokines IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α and IFN-γ in serum were assayed using flow cytometric bead array.

Results: The patients with KDSS were older age (43.41 ± 31.42 vs 28.81 ± 21.51 months, P < 0.05), longer duration of fever (10.63 ± 5.12 vs 6.98 ± 2.45 days, P < 0.05), higher WBC count, neutrophils, CRP, ESR, PCT and D-dimer, and lower hemoglobin and albumin, more severe hyponatremia and hypokalemia, more refractory to IVIG therapy, more coronary artery abnormalities (CAAs), aseptic meningitis, and longer duration of hospitalization than patients with KD (all P < 0.05). The levels of serum IL-6 [184.1 (27.7-2577.3) vs 54.1 (4-425) pg/ml], IL-10 [42.6 (5-236.7) vs 9.4 (3-94) pg/ml], TNF-α [2.6 (1.0-23.4) vs 2.1 (1-6) pg/ml] and IFN-γ [18.3 (4.5-94.4) vs 6.7 (2-56) pg/ml] in KDSS patients were significant higher than KD patients (all P < 0.05). ROC curves showed that 66.7 pg/ml of IL-6, 20.85 pg/ml of IL-10 and 8.35 pg/ml of IFN-γ had sensitivity and specificity for identifying KDSS as 85.2 and 62.8%; 66.7 and 83.7%; 74.1 and 74.4% respectively. No fatality was recorded in this series.

Conclusions: KDSS were characteristic as more cytokine production and prone to developing IVIG non-responsiveness and CAAs. KD patients with IL-6 above 66.7 pg/ml, IL-10 above 20.85 pg/ml, and IFN-γ above 8.35 pg/ml suggested higher risk for KDSS.

Keywords: Clinical features; Cytokines; Kawasaki disease; Shock.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / administration & dosage
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / complications*
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / therapy
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shock / diagnosis
  • Shock / etiology*
  • Shock / therapy


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous