Kawasaki syndrome: an intriguing disease with numerous unsolved dilemmas.

Fernanda Falcini, Serena Capannini, Donato Rigante

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

40 Citazioni (Scopus)


More than 40 years have passed since Kawasaki syndrome (KS) was first described. Yet KS still remains an enigmatic illness which damages the coronary arteries in a quarter of untreated patients and is the most common cause of childhood-acquired heart disease in developed countries. Many gaps exist in our knowledge of the etiology and pathogenesis of KS, making improvements in therapy difficult. In addition, many KS features and issues still demand further efforts to achieve a much better understanding of the disease. Some of these problem areas include coronary artery injuries in children not fulfilling the classic diagnostic criteria, genetic predisposition to KS, unpredictable ineffectiveness of current therapy in some cases, vascular dysfunction in patients not showing echocardiographic evidence of coronary artery abnormalities in the acute phase of KS, and risk of potential premature atherosclerosis. Also, the lack of specific laboratory tests for early identification of the atypical and incomplete cases, especially in infants, is one of the main obstacles to beginning treatment early and thereby decreasing the incidence of cardiovascular involvement. Transthoracic echocardiography remains the gold-standard for evaluation of coronary arteries in the acute phase and follow-up. In KS patients with severe vascular complications, more costly and potentially invasive investigations such as coronary CT angiography and MRI may be necessary. As children with KS with or without heart involvement become adolescents and adults, the recognition and treatment of the potential long term sequelae become crucial, requiring that rheumatologists, infectious disease specialists, and cardiologists cooperate to develop specific guidelines for a proper evaluation and management of these patients. More education is needed for physicians and other professionals about how to recognize the long-term impact of systemic problems related to KS.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)7-18
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • Kawasaki syndrome


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