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J Pediatr. 2013 Jun;162(6):1259-63, 1263.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.11.064. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

Lymph-node-first presentation of Kawasaki disease compared with bacterial cervical adenitis and typical Kawasaki disease.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA, USA.



To identify characteristics differentiating the node-first presentation of Kawasaki disease (NFKD) from bacterial cervical lymphadenitis (BCL) and typical Kawasaki disease (KD).


From our prospectively collected database, we compared clinical, laboratory, and imaging characteristics of NFKD and BCL cohorts and performed multivariable logistic regression to identify variables that distinguish NFKD from BCL. We then compared outcomes of patients with NFKD and patients with typical KD treated during the same period.


Over 7 years, 57 patients were hospitalized for NFKD, 78 for BCL, and 287 for typical KD. Patients with NFKD were older and had more medical encounters and longer duration of illness before the correct diagnosis was made than did patients with BCL. Of patients with NFKD, 33% had an admission diagnosis of bacterial adenitis or abscess. Compared with patients with BCL, patients with NFKD had lower leukocyte (white blood cell), hemoglobin, and platelet counts and higher absolute band counts (ABCs), C-reactive protein (CRP), alanine transaminase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase levels, and erythrocyte sedimentation rates. In the multivariable analysis, smaller nodes, lower white blood cell count, and higher ABC and CRP were independently associated with NFKD. Patients with NFKD had multiple enlarged solid nodes and comparable rates of retropharyngeal edema. Compared with patients with typical KD, patients with NFKD were older, had more severe inflammation, and had similar rates of coronary artery abnormalities and resistance to intravenous immune globulin.


High ABC and CRP values and multiple enlarged solid nodes in febrile patients with cervical adenopathy should prompt consideration of NFKD to prevent delayed diagnosis of KD. Retropharyngeal edema on radiography should not dissuade from the diagnosis of NFKD.

Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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