Kawasaki disease at British Columbia's Children's Hospital

Regan L Ebbeson, Mark R Riley, Jim E Potts, Derek G Human, Peter N Malleson
Paediatrics & Child Health 2004, 9 (7): 466-70

OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinical features, diagnosis, treatment and outcome of children with Kawasaki disease (KD) treated at a large tertiary care Canadian paediatric hospital and to try to identify correlations between clinical features and the development of coronary artery abnormalities.

METHODS: The charts of 176 patients diagnosed with typical, atypical or incomplete KD between 1992 and 2000 at British Columbia's Children's Hospital were reviewed.

RESULTS: The male to female ratio was 1.8:1. The median age was 2.5 years (range two months to 14 years), with 8% nine years or older (42% Caucasian, 43% Asian). Cases occurred steadily throughout the year. One hundred two (58%) patients had typical, 18 (10%) patients had atypical and 56 (32%) patients had incomplete KD. The median time from fever onset to first intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) was seven days (range two to 49 days), and treatment began within 10 days of fever onset in 134 (76%) patients. All patients received one or more doses of 2 g/kg IVIG. Forty-two (24%) patients received a second dose for nonresponsiveness, of whom 10 (6%) remained nonresponsive. Eight (5%) patients received intravenous methylprednisolone. Forty-eight (27%) patients developed coronary artery abnormalities, with 10 (6%) echogenic abnormalities, 25 (14%) dilatations and 13 (7%) aneurysms (seven giant). No patient with a normal echocardiogram at four to eight weeks developed an abnormality on subsequent study. Fourteen (8%) patients had persistent abnormalities at last follow-up (median 447 days, range 62 to 3272 days): seven dilations and seven aneurysms (six giant). Five of 13 children (39%) who developed aneurysms failed to meet diagnostic criteria for typical KD, and three of those five aneurysms were present at less than one year after diagnosis. Four of eight (50%) patients receiving intravenous methyl-prednisolone for IVIG nonresponsiveness had or developed aneurysms. One patient died.

CONCLUSION: Some children diagnosed with KD who fail to meet the diagnostic description develop coronary artery abnormalities. There is a need for a more accurate means of diagnosis to more appropriately use IVIG, an expensive and increasingly scarce resource. The role of corticosteroids remains unclear and a randomized controlled clinical trial to determine their role is needed.

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