Kawasaki Disease: A Review of Pathologic Features of Stage IV Disease and Two Cases of Sudden Death among Asymptotic Young Adults

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Kawasaki disease (KD) primarily affects infants and is rarely fatal in young adults. The sequelae of KD can result in death months to years after the exposure to the causative agent. Such deaths are defined as Stage IV KD, which is characterized by the formation of multiple aneurysms in the coronary arteries, calcification and recanalization of the obstructed portions of the coronary arteries, and myocardial infarction and ischemia. A 10-year retrospective review of sudden deaths in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, identified two fatal cases of Stage IV KD involving young adults. These two young adults were healthy and completely asymptomatic; they had no identifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease before the fatal event. One adult was involved in vigorous exercise, and the other was recumbent in bed at the time of death.

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