A black, male medical professional conducts a medical checkup on a young black female child, as an adult black female seated behind her looks on.

Kawasaki disease is a rare form of cardiovascular disease that mainly affects children. The condition causes widespread inflammation and can lead to focal swelling, or aneurysm formation, of the arteries. Inflammatory changes of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply the heart, can be life-threatening.

Children who received infliximab had shorter hospital stays and experienced fewer side effects than those given a second dose of IVIG.

The cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown, but treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a potent anti-inflammatory therapy, helps most children recover. Unfortunately, up to 20 percent of children diagnosed with Kawasaki disease experience persistent symptoms that do not respond to this treatment. There are currently no clear guidelines to help direct therapy for children with resistant disease.

The KIDCARE Study, a PCORI-funded trial, recently compared treatment strategies for resistant Kawasaki disease. The research team assessed the effectiveness of a medicine called infliximab compared to giving a second dose of IVIG. More than 100 children who had resistant disease and received care at 30 health centers across the United States were evaluated. The team found that children who received infliximab had shorter hospital stays and experienced fewer side effects, including anemia, than those given a second dose of IVIG. This is one of few trials to evaluate therapies for a rare group of patients experiencing the already rare condition of Kawasaki disease.

These study findings were published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

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