Pulse Wave Velocity in Kawasaki Disease

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Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute childhood febrile disease of unknown etiology. It exhibits not only coronary artery aneurysms in some cases but also systemic vasculitis. Whether KD is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis remains debatable. The measurement of pulse wave velocity (PWV) is useful as a simple, noninvasive measurement of arterial stiffness, an atherosclerotic manifestation. We herein present a systematic review of clinical studies that focused on PWV in patients with KD. A PubMed-based search identified 8 eligible studies published until June 2015. The PWV of patients with KD, regardless of antecedent coronary artery lesions, was high relative to controls, even though their blood pressure appeared to be similar. Although definitive conclusions cannot be made with the limited information, patients with KD may be at risk of systemic atherosclerosis in association with arterial stiffness. Further research, including longitudinal and outcome studies, is needed to determine the clinical significance of a potential increase in PWV in patients with KD.

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