Treatment of intravenous immunoglobulin-resistant Kawasaki disease with methotrexate

S Y Ahn, D S Kim
Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 2005, 34 (2): 136-9

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of low-dose oral methotrexate (MTX) as treatment for patients with Kawasaki disease (KD) resistant to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG).

METHODS: The subjects were four patients with KD, aged 8 months to 8 years old, who showed persistent disease after treatment with high-dose IVIG (2 g/kg) and aspirin (100 mg/kg). These patients were re-treated with IVIG and were also treated with IV dexamethasone (0.3 mg/kg). IV dexamethasone induced defervescence in three patients, but fever recurred upon discontinuing the steroid. One patient showed no response to either IVIG or dexamethasone. All patients were subsequently treated weekly with low-dose oral MTX [10 mg/body surface area (BSA)].

RESULTS: MTX treatment resulted in rapid defervescence, improvement in clinical symptoms, and normalization of acute-phase reactants in all patients. There was no progression of coronary artery dilatation and MTX was discontinued with no recurrence of fever. No adverse effects of MTX were observed.

CONCLUSION: Low-dose oral MTX is an effective treatment for refractory KD.

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