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Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Dec;29(8):1787-98. doi: 10.1007/s10554-013-0276-9. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

The emerging role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance in the evaluation of Kawasaki disease.

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Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, 50 Esperou Street, 175-61 P.Faliro, Athens, Greece,


Kawasaki disease (KD) is a vasculitis affecting the coronary and systemic arteries. Myocardial inflammation is also a common finding in KD post-mortem evaluation during the acute phase of the disease. Coronary artery aneurysms (CAAs) develop in 15-25% of untreated children. Although 50-70% of CAAs resolve spontaneously 1-2 years after the onset of KD, the remaining unresolved CAAs can develop stenotic lesions at either their proximal or distal end and can develop thrombus formation leading to ischemia and/or infarction. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has the ability to perform non-invasive and radiation-free evaluation of the coronary artery lumen. Recently tissue characterization of the coronary vessel wall was provided by CMR. It can also image myocardial inflammation, ischemia and fibrosis. Therefore CMR offers important clinical information during the acute and chronic phase of KD. In the acute phase, it can identify myocardial inflammation, microvascular disease, myocardial infarction, deterioration of left ventricular function, changes of the coronary artery lumen and changes of the coronary artery vessel wall. During the chronic phase, CMR imaging might be of value for risk stratification and to guide treatment.

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