Kawasaki disease in the older child

T Momenah, S Sanatani, J Potts, G G Sandor, D G Human, M W Patterson
Pediatrics 1998, 102 (1): e7

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of Kawasaki disease in older children and to evaluate its clinical presentation, time to diagnosis, and outcome in comparison with younger patients with the disease.

METHODOLOGY: A retrospective analysis of all patients discharged with a diagnosis of Kawasaki disease at a pediatric tertiary care hospital over a 12-year period.

RESULTS: A total of 133 patients were included in this study; 7.5% were 9 years of age or older at the time of illness. Patients were grouped by age: infants included children age 1 to 8 years of age and children 9 years of age or older. Older children had a higher frequency of abnormal cardiovascular physical examination (50%) versus children (6%) and infants (10%). The older age group and the infants had a higher prevalence of coronary artery abnormalities and poor left ventricular function than did the 1- to 8-year-olds. Eighty percent of the older children had coronary arteries that were either dilated or aneurysmal, and 30% demonstrated left ventricular dysfunction on initial echocardiography. The number of days to diagnosis after meeting the diagnostic criteria was 5.8 +/- 2.3 for infants, 5.2 +/- 1.5 for older children, and 1.9 +/- 0.3 for children. Older children had a complicated course of Kawasaki disease compared with younger patients.

CONCLUSION: We found a higher prevalence of older children with Kawasaki disease at our center than has previously been reported. Older patients, as well as infants, had a higher rate of coronary artery abnormalities than did the children between 1 and 8 years of age. Older age at the time of illness or a delay in treatment may be important factors in determining cardiac involvement in Kawasaki disease.

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