Anakinra And Etanercept Combination Treatment in a Child With Severe, Nonresponsive Kawasaki Disease

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2020 Oct;39(10):e310-e313. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002810.


Kawasaki disease (KD) patients' resistance to treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) places them at high risk for an unfavorable progression of the disease. In these patients, there has been little evidence that alternative treatments are effective. Nevertheless, biologicals such as an interleukin-1-receptor blocker and tumor-necrosis-factor-α inhibitors increasingly have been used. If the patient does not respond to one of these therapeutics, a combination of 2 biologicals might be an alternative, but this is not yet generally accepted due to the potentially increased risk of infection. Here we report on a 3-month-old boy suffering from severe refractory KD. KD diagnosis was delayed due to the misinterpretation of a urinary tract infection and to the short and nonsimultaneous presence of classical KD symptoms. After complete KD later was able to be diagnosed, treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins was administered. However, the disease proved resistant to 2 courses of IVIG, as well as to corticosteroids. The patient developed giant coronary artery aneurysms early during the course of disease. Anakinra was initiated, but even with stepwise higher anakinra dosages, he remained febrile and coronary artery dimensions increased. Therefore, etanercept was added as a second biological. Only under combination treatment with anakinra and etanercept were his inflammation and fever able to be completely resolved. Coronary artery dimensions improved over time.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Coronary Aneurysm / etiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Etanercept / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Infant
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / complications
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein
  • Etanercept