Predictors of coronary artery lesions after intravenous gamma-globulin treatment in Kawasaki disease

M Mori, T Imagawa, K Yasui, A Kanaya, S Yokota
Journal of Pediatrics 2000, 137 (2): 177-80

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the efficacy of intravenous gamma-globulin (IVGG) administration for children with Kawasaki disease to establish whether additional, more advanced therapy is needed in intractable cases.

STUDY DESIGN: A total of 193 children with Kawasaki disease were studied retrospectively. Patients were admitted 3 to 7 days after the onset of the disease, and IVGG was administered. Laboratory measurements including white blood cell (WBC), neutrophil, and platelet counts and C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin concentrations were determined before and 2 to 3 days after IVGG treatment. The progression of coronary artery lesions (CALs) was monitored by serial echocardiography until 30 days after treatment.

RESULTS: Of 193 children, 24 (12.2 %) had CALs including transient dilatation. In contrast to the other measurements, the WBC count increased in 21 of 24 (87.5%) children with CALs after IVGG therapy. The patients with increased neutrophil count and CRP concentration after IVGG therapy also had CAL formation at a high rate (78.3% and 66.7%, respectively). Among children with normal coronary arteries, elevations of the WBC and neutrophil counts and CRP concentration were observed after IVGG therapy in only 3, 6, and 8 patients, respectively (specificity: 98.2%, 97.0%, and 95.3%, respectively). Furthermore, multiple logistic regression indicated that these variables were useful predictors of CALs in KD.

CONCLUSION: Though the introduction of IVGG therapy has improved the prognosis of Kawasaki disease, approximately 10% of patients still develop CALs. The need for more aggressive therapy in IVGG-resistant cases can be recognized early by increases in the WBC and neutrophil counts and serum CRP concentration after IVGG administration.

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