Infliximab for the Treatment of Refractory Kawasaki Disease: A Nationwide Survey in Japan

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Abstract

Objective

To assess the safety and efficacy of infliximab (IFX) for the treatment of patients with Kawasaki disease (KD).

Study design

This was a nationwide survey of 274 Japanese institutions exploring how IFX was used to treat patients with KD. The patients' sex, age, treatment course, pre- and post-IFX therapy blood test results, coronary artery lesions (CALs), and adverse events (AEs) were evaluated.

Results

We analyzed 434 patients with KD who received IFX between March 2005 and November 2014. The median age at onset was 33 months (range 1–138), and 66 patients (15.2%) were under 1 year old. In all cases, IFX was administered as additional treatment. The median days of illness at the initiation of IFX was 9 days. In 275 patients (63.4%), IFX was administered as third-line treatment, and in 106 patients (24.4%), IFX was administered as fourth-line treatment. Single dose IFX 5 mg/kg was administered to 412 patients (94.9%). After IFX, 363 patients (83.6%) became afebrile within 2 days, and the white blood cell count, percentage of neutrophils, and serum C-reactive protein levels significantly decreased (P < .001), although 119 patients (27.4%) received additional treatment. Before IFX, 132 patients (30.4%) had already developed CALs. In patients without CALs before IFX, 31 patients (10.3%) newly developed CAL after IFX, whereas 32 patients (24.2%) with CAL before IFX showed increased CAL severity. Eighty AEs were observed in 69 patients (15.9%); however, serious AEs were few and reversible.

Conclusions

IFX might be an effective and tolerable treatment for refractory KD.

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