Markedly activated neutrophils or higher plasma levels of neutrophil elastase are involved in the poor response to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and the formation of coronary artery lesions (CAL) in patients with acute Kawasaki disease. We hypothesized that ulinastatin (UTI), by both direct and indirect suppression of neutrophils, would reduce the occurrence of CAL.Methods and Results—
We retrospectively analyzed the clinical records of patients with Kawasaki disease between 1998 and 2009. Three hundred sixty-nine patients were treated with a combination of UTI, aspirin, and IVIG as an initial treatment (UTI group), and 1178 were treated with a conventional initial treatment, and IVIG with aspirin (control group). The baseline characteristics did not demonstrate notable differences between the two groups. The occurrence of CAL was significantly lower in the UTI group than in the control group (3% versus 7%; crude odds ratio [OR], 0.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25–0.86; P=0.01). The OR adjusted for sex, Gunma score (the predictive score for IVIG unresponsiveness), and dosage of initial IVIG (1 or 2 g/kg) was 0.32 (95% CI, 0.17–0.60; P<0.001). In addition, most CAL occurred in patients requiring additional rescue treatment and the proportion of those patients was significantly lower in the UTI group than in the control group (13% versus 22%; crude OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.38–0.73; P<0.001). The adjusted OR was 0.30 (95% CI, 0.20–0.44; P<0.001).Conclusions—
UTI was associated with fewer patients requiring additional rescue treatment and reduction of CAL in this retrospective study.