Intravenous Methylprednisolone Pulse Therapy Versus Intravenous Immunoglobulin in the Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease in Children with Kawasaki Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Cureus. 2022 Jun 23;14(6):e26252. doi: 10.7759/cureus.26252. eCollection 2022 Jun.


Background: Kawasaki disease (KD) is often complicated by coronary artery lesion (CAL), including dilatation or aneurysms. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is used with aspirin to prevent CAL in KD.

Objective: Given that the primary treatment for other vasculitis is the use of corticosteroids, this study has been performed to evaluate the effect of intravenous methylprednisolone pulse (IVMP) therapy in preventing CAL in KD.

Method: A randomized, single-blind clinical trial was conducted on 40 KD patients aged six months to five years. Patients were randomized into two groups according to the main treatment plan in addition to aspirin: case group (IVMP for three consecutive days and then oral prednisolone for three days) and control group (intravenous immunoglobulin 2 g/kg). Echocardiography was performed for all children at least three times, during the acute phase, two weeks, and two months later.

Results: Data analysis at the end of the study was done on 40 patients (20 patients in each group). There were no significant differences in age and sex distribution, mean fever, and acute phase duration, as well as baseline echocardiography in the two groups. The frequency of CAL was 20% in the case group and 45% in the control group, after two weeks (p<0.05), but there was no significant difference between two groups in types of coronary artery lesion after two weeks and the frequency and severity of CAL after two months.

Conclusion: IVMP as initial line therapy effectively control systemic and vascular inflammation and decrease coronary artery damage in KD.

Keywords: coronary artery lesion (cal); intravenous immunoglobulin (ivig); intravenous methylprednisolone pulse; kawasaki disease (kd); pulse steroid therapy; systemic steroid therapy.