JOURNAL ARTICLE

Kawasaki disease with severe cardiac sequelae: lessons from recent New Zealand experience

N Wilson, P Heaton, L Calder, R Nicholson, S Stables, R Gavin
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2004, 40 (9): 524-9
15367145

OBJECTIVES: To review recent cases of Kawasaki disease (KD) with significant cardiac sequelae in New Zealand. It is known that intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) reduces the risk of coronary artery aneurysm formation if given within 8-10 days of onset of KD.

METHODS: Retrospective review of medical course, criteria for KD, laboratory and cardiac findings for six children identified with KD and significant coronary artery sequelae.

RESULTS: There was delay in diagnosis of KD in three of the six children. Three cases were atypical by extremes of age (2 months, 10 years, 14 years). By definition all six children had significant coronary artery involvement. One patient had a thrombus detected in a coronary aneurysm 3 weeks after KD. One patient underwent coronary artery bypass grafting for unstable angina 2 years after KD. One patient developed coronary artery aneurysms after an initial 'toxic shock' type illness evolving to KD. Three patients died, one due to rupture of a coronary artery aneurysm, two from rapid early coronary artery obstruction occurring at three and 4 months after initial KD.

CONCLUSIONS: Kawasaki disease remains an important cause of mortality and morbidity for children. Diagnostic delay beyond 8 days reduces the chances of successful IVIG therapy in KD. Current studies supported by the Paediatric Surveillance Unit should establish the epidemiology of KD in New Zealand.

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