Cross-sectional echocardiography is an essential tool in the evaluation ofchildren with Kawasaki disease, both in the acute and chronic stages. In the acute phase of the illness, it is valuable for diagnosis and management of pancarditis and for the long-term monitoring of pericardial effusions, left ventricular function, and the rare cases of chronic valvar dysfunction. When coronary arterial abnormalities are detected, echocardiography can serially evaluate long-term treatment with drugs which prevent the aggregation of platelets and monitor the resolution of coronary aneurysms. The value of cross-sectional echocardiography, nonetheless, is very limited in the detection of coronary arterial stenosis. Coronary arteriography is still important for the diagnosis of obstructive lesions in the coronary arteries and should be used in conjunction with cross-sectional echocardiography for the appropriate long- term management of children with Kawasaki disease at high risk of developing coronary arterial stenosis. Perhaps, in the future, high resolution transesophageal echocardiography will allow clear delineation of coronary arterial anatomy and specifically stenosis, but its role in the evaluation and management of children with Kawasaki disease remains to be explored.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health