When added to standard treatment, steroids significantly reduce theodds of developing heart damage in children with Kawasaki's disease,according to a study in the October issue of Pediatrics. These findingsaddress a gap in knowledge. Current guidelines from the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics state that the evidence for steroid treatment islacking and recommend the standard treatment for Kawasaki's, which isaspirin and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG).
"This gap in knowledge led us to examine the benefits of steroidsmore closely. We looked at research worldwide and were surprised tofind eight solid clinical trials showing the value of steroids insignificantly reducing heart damage in children with Kawasaki'sdisease. Steroids, when combined with aspirin and IVGB, reduced theodds of developing inflammation of the heart blood vessels by half,"said Stephen Aronoff, MD, lead author of the meta-analysis and TempleUniversity School of Medicine professor and chair of pediatrics.
Aronoff hopes that a multi-center study, currently underway,will provide further evidence of the benefits of steroid treatment forKawasaki's disease. Also needed is more evidence about the mosteffective types and doses of steroids.
Kawasaki's disease, one of the leading causes of acquiredheart disease in children, inflames the blood vessels leading to theheart. The cause of Kawasaki's is unknown. Signs of the disease includefever lasting longer than 5 days, skin rash, red eyes, palms and footsoles and swollen lymph nodes. If not treated within five to ten days,it can lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening, complications.Fortunately, Kawasaki's is treatable and most children recover fully.
Materials provided by Temple University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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