Diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management of Kawasaki disease: A scientific statement for health professionals from the American Heart Association

Brian W. McCrindle, Anne H. Rowley, Jane W. Newburger, Jane C. Burns, Anne F. Bolger, Michael Gewitz, Annette L. Baker, Mary Anne Jackson, Masato Takahashi, Pinak B. Shah, Tohru Kobayashi, Mei Hwan Wu, Tsutomu T. Saji, Elfriede Pahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2168 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Kawasaki disease is an acute vasculitis of childhood that leads to coronary artery aneurysms in ≈25% of untreated cases. It has been reported worldwide and is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in developed countries. METHODS AND RESULTS: To revise the previous American Heart Association guidelines, a multidisciplinary writing group of experts was convened to review and appraise available evidence and practice-based opinion, as well as to provide updated recommendations for diagnosis, treatment of the acute illness, and long-term management. Although the cause remains unknown, discussion sections highlight new insights into the epidemiology, genetics, pathogenesis, pathology, natural history, and longterm outcomes. Prompt diagnosis is essential, and an updated algorithm defines supplemental information to be used to assist the diagnosis when classic clinical criteria are incomplete. Although intravenous immune globulin is the mainstay of initial treatment, the role for additional primary therapy in selected patients is discussed. Approximately 10% to 20% of patients do not respond to initial intravenous immune globulin, and recommendations for additional therapies are provided. Careful initial management of evolving coronary artery abnormalities is essential, necessitating an increased frequency of assessments and escalation of thromboprophylaxis. Risk stratification for long-term management is based primarily on maximal coronary artery luminal dimensions, normalized as Z scores, and is calibrated to both past and current involvement. Patients with aneurysms require life-long and uninterrupted cardiology follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: These recommendations provide updated and best evidence-based guidance to healthcare providers who diagnose and manage Kawasaki disease, but clinical decision making should be individualized to specific patient circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e927-e999
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 25 2017


  • AHA Scientific Statements
  • Aneurysm
  • Arteritis
  • Coronary vessels
  • Immunoglobulins, intravenous
  • Kawasaki syndrome
  • Thrombosis
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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