Diagnosis, treatment and outcome of Kawasaki disease in an Australian tertiary setting: a review of three years experience

Davinder Singh-Grewal, Melanie Wong, David Isaacs
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2005, 41 (9): 495-9

OBJECTIVE: To examine the patient characteristics, diagnostic criteria, treatment, complications and outcomes of Kawasaki disease (KD) in children diagnosed and treated in an Australian tertiary hospital setting and compare this to previously reported experience.

METHODS: Data were collected prospectively for 14 patients in 2002 and retrospectively for 31 patients in 2000 and 2001. Demographics, clinical features, laboratory features, treatment and outcome details were collected, analysed and compared to previous experience.

RESULTS: The median age at diagnosis was 2.77 years (0.28-8.84) and diagnosis was made after a mean 6.1 days of fever. Twenty-eight patients (62.2%) had classical KD and those with less than four criteria were younger than those with four or more criteria (P = 0.04). Patients were treated with intravenous immunoglobulin and aspirin. Twelve (26.7%) required re-treatment. Re-treatment was associated with treatment within 5 days of fever onset (P = 0.03). Twelve patients (27.3%) developed coronary artery abnormalities and the development of such abnormalities was associated with lower serum albumin at diagnosis (P = 0.008) and need for re-treatment (P = 0.03). There was no difference in coronary outcome between classical and incomplete presentations. Only two patients had coronary lesions at 12 months follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: We found a trend towards earlier diagnosis and treatment of KD in the tertiary hospital setting, which may reflect heightened physician awareness of the disease. Our study confirms that children who present with incomplete disease are at risk of coronary artery abnormality. We recommend that clinicians continue to maintain high levels of suspicion, even in the absence of the complete clinical picture of KD, particularly in infants below 1 year of age.

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