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Circulation Journal
Vol. 79 (2015) No. 6 1349-1356

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http://doi.org/10.1253/circj.CJ-14-1323

Pediatric Cardiology and Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Background:Circulating platelet-neutrophil aggregates play a crucial role in amplifying acute inflammation and could promote adverse effects involving vascular injury. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of platelet-neutrophil aggregates in Kawasaki disease (KD).Methods and Results:Forty patients with KD (30 intravenous immunoglobulin [IVIG] responders and 10 IVIG non-responders), 7 febrile patients with bacterial infections, and 9 normal volunteers were analyzed. Thirty-three patients with KD were treated with IVIG, and 7 were treated with IVIG plus prednisolone. We evaluated the rate of platelet-neutrophil aggregates and measured the platelet factor 4 (PF4) and β-thromboglobulin (β-TG) levels. The rate of platelet-neutrophil aggregates was significantly higher in patients with KD than those with bacterial infection and normal volunteers. The rate of platelet-neutrophil aggregates was significantly higher in patients with coronary artery abnormalities (CAA) than in those without CAA, and was correlated with PF4 and β-TG levels in patients with KD. Comparing time-course analysis, the rate of platelet-neutrophil aggregates was significantly decreased in patients treated with IVIG plus prednisolone than in those treated with IVIG alone.Conclusions:The findings demonstrate that platelet-neutrophil aggregates are significantly present in higher rates and are closely related to pathological developments of CAA in KD. Additional prednisolone treatment for patients in the acute phase of KD could suppress platelet-neutrophil aggregates, indicating that platelet-neutrophil aggregates would inhibit amplified reciprocal vascular inflammatory activation. (Circ J 2015; 79: 1349–1356)

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