Background: The use of corticosteroids as treatment for Kawasaki disease (KD) patients is still controversial. And the effects of corticosteroids on coronary artery lesions (CALs) development and later vascular remodeling are also unclear. The purpose of this study was to compare the long term prognosis of KD with CALs between corticosteroid administration patients and no corticosteroid using patients.
Methods: Five hundred sixty nine patients with KD were studied at Kurume University Hospital from 1996 to 2004. Clinical records of 66 patients (46 males, 20 females) with CALs were reviewed. The median age at diagnosis was 1.5 (range 0.2 - 13.2) years and median follow-up period was 8.9 (range 0.1 - 16.4) years. Coronary artery sizes were measured by body surface area (BSA) adjusted z-score to using echocardiography. CALs were defined as coronary artery z-score > 2.5, and CAL regressions were defined as z-score < 2.5.
Results: Sixty four patients were treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), and 51 (79.7%) patients were unresponsive to the initial IVIG treatment. Twenty seven (40.9%) patients were received corticosteroid pulse therapy in the acute phase. The maximum CAL z-score in the acute phase, there were not significant differences between corticosteroid administration patients and no corticosteroid using patients (5.1 ± 2.2 vs. 4.9 ± 2.3, p = 0.277). The CAL z-score at the end of this study period, there were not significant differences between two groups (2.1 ± 2.0 vs. 2.3 ± 2.3, p = 0.432). The ratio of CAL regression in the study period (33.3% vs. 46.2%), the mean interval between the onset of KD and CAA regression (0.6 ± 0.5 vs. 0.8 ± 0.5 years, p = 0.209), and the ratio of coronary artery stenosis or occlusion (14.8% vs. 15.4%), there were not significant differences between two groups.
Conclusion: Corticosteroid pulse therapy for KD patients may not be worsened CALs in the acute phase and long-term after the onset.