Diagnostic value of D-dimer in differentiating Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) from Kawasaki disease: systematic literature review and meta-analysis

Diagnosis (Berl). 2024 Feb 21. doi: 10.1515/dx-2024-0013. Online ahead of print.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is frequently associated with thrombo inflammation, which can predispose to developing of life-threatening conditions in children such as the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) and Kawasaki disease. Because of the consistent overlap in pathogenesis and symptoms, identifying laboratory tests that may aid in the differential diagnosis of these pathologies becomes crucial. We performed an electronic search in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus, without date or language restrictions, to identify all possible studies reporting D-dimer values in separate cohorts of children with MIS-C or Kawasaki disease. Three multicenter cohort studies were included in our analysis, totaling 487 patients (270 with MIS-C and 217 with Kawasaki disease). In this meta-analysis, significantly higher D-dimer values were found in MIS-C compared to Kawasaki disease in all three studies, yielding an SMD of 1.5 (95 % CI, 1.3-1.7) mg/L. Thus, very high D-dimer values early in the course of disease should raise the clinical suspicion of MIS-C rather than Kawasaki disease. Further studies should be planned to identify harmonized D-dimer diagnostic thresholds that may help discriminate these conditions.

Keywords: COVID-19; D-dimer; Kawasaki disease; Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children; coronavirus.

Publication types

  • Review