Conference Coverage

Kawasaki disease and infections aren’t mutually exclusive




CHICAGO – Kawasaki disease and concurrent bacterial or viral infection are by no means mutually exclusive, Dr. Cathie-Kim Le cautioned at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

“Recognizing that both can coexist will ensure timely IVIg [intravenous immunoglobulin] treatment and appropriate containment of coronary artery complications,” said Dr. Le of Sainte-Justine University Hospital in Montreal.

She presented a retrospective study of 128 patients, mean age 3.4 years, admitted to the pediatric academic tertiary care center with a discharge diagnosis of Kawasaki disease. During their hospitalization all of them underwent a work-up for bacterial and viral infectious diseases, which proved positive in 33% of cases. Roughly 40% of subjects had incomplete Kawasaki disease, meaning they lacked a sufficient number of signs of mucocutaneous inflammation to fulfill the epidemiologic case definition; however, their prevalence of concomitant infection was similar to that of the group with classic Kawasaki disease.

Among the most common types of infections in patients with Kawasaki disease were otitis media, which accounted for 17% of the infections; upper respiratory infections, 21%; and group A streptococcal pharyngitis and pneumonia, which accounted for 14% each.

There were no differences in clinical presentation or laboratory values between children with or without concomitant infection. Nor was myocardial profiling useful in differentiating patients with concomitant infection from those without: Ventricular shortening fraction scores and N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide levels were similar in the two groups of Kawasaki disease patients.

Acute coronary dilatation occurred in 26% of Kawasaki disease patients with concomitant infection and similarly in 30% of those without infection. Coronary aneurysm, the most serious complication of Kawasaki disease, occurred in 14% of patients with infection and an identical proportion of the uninfected.

Almost all patients received IVIg. Resistance to the effects of IVIg occurred in 36% of patients with concomitant infection, a rate twice that seen in the group without infection. Coronary aneurysms and dilatations were significantly more common in IVIg-resistant patients, regardless of their infection status.

Dr. Le reported having no relevant financial conflicts.

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