Kawasaki disease in adult patients.

[Article in French]

Sève P, Lega JC.

Service de médecine interne, hospices civils de Lyon, Hôtel-Dieu, 1, place de l'Hôpital, 69288 Lyon cedex 02, France; Université Lyon-1, Lyon, France.


Kawasaki disease (KD) is a multisystemic vasculitis affecting mainly the skin, mucosa, and lymph nodes. Coronary artery aneurysms occur in 25% of patients but their prevalence is reduced to 4% in those patients treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) within 10 days of illness onset. Interesting data recently published relate to physiopathology and diagnosis of the disease. Investigations identified an antigen-driven IgA oligoclonal response directed against cytoplasmic inclusions in KD tissues. An algorithm using laboratory tests and echocardiography has been recently proposed to improve early detection of incomplete KD. Although KD predominantly affects children, it may be also of interest for adult physicians. First, patients may develop long-term cardiovascular event. Coronary artery aneurysms may lead to the development of coronary stenosis or thrombosis. Despite the absence of coronary lesions during the acute phase of the disease, patients may present morphological and functional sequelae of coronary and peripheral arteries at convalescent phase. These potential arterial sequelae require long-term follow-up and treatment of associated cardiovascular risk factors. Although the level of injury seems to be correlated with the severity of initial coronary lesions, long-term course of vascular injuries is poorly known. Second, KD may occur in adults with 91 cases reported in the literature. Twenty-one cases have been reported in HIV infected patients. Intravenous immunoglobulins appear to shorten the disease course. Recent studies highlight the existence of incomplete KD and symptomatic coronary aneurysms in adults. Overall, these data suggest that adult patients with biological or echocardiographic features suggestive of incomplete KD should receive prompt IVIg to prevent coronary artery sequelae. Copyright © 2010 Société nationale française de médecine interne (SNFMI). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

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