Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatrics. 2008 Oct;122(4):e786-90. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-1275. Epub 2008 Sep 22.

Kawasaki disease in a pediatric intensive care unit: a case-control study.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA.



We conducted a case-control study to ascertain the clinical presentations, risk factors, and clinical outcomes of children who had Kawasaki disease and were admitted to the ICU of our children's hospital.


We reviewed charts of all children who had a discharge diagnosis of Kawasaki disease and were admitted to the ICU from 1995 through 2007. For each patient, we identified 3 season-matched control subjects who had Kawasaki disease and were not admitted to the ICU.


We identified 423 patients with Kawasaki disease. Of those, 14 (3.3%) were admitted to the ICU and met our inclusion criteria. ICU admission diagnoses were most commonly toxic shock or septic shock. Thirteen (92.8%) of 14 patients who were admitted to the ICU met criteria for complete Kawasaki disease before treatment. There was no significant difference in age in ICU patients compared with season-matched control subjects with Kawasaki disease. ICU patients were significantly more likely to be female and to have higher band counts, lower platelet counts, lower albumin levels, and higher C-reactive protein values. Time from admission to treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin was delayed in ICU patients. ICU patients were more likely to have intravenous immunoglobulin-refractory disease and require therapy with a second dose of intravenous immunoglobulin, infliximab, or steroids.


We present a case-control study of patients who had Kawasaki disease and presented severely ill, in shock, and requiring admission to the ICU. These patients frequently were misdiagnosed because of failure to appreciate the full spectrum of disease severity seen in patients with Kawasaki disease. These patients' illnesses was often mistaken for toxic or septic shock, leading to a delay in treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin. Patients who have Kawasaki disease and are admitted to the ICU are at increased risk for intravenous immunoglobulin-refractory disease and may be at risk for development of more severe coronary artery disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center