The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging

, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 1787–1798 | Cite as

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

  • Sophie Mavrogeni
  • George Papadopoulos
  • Tarique Hussain
  • Amedeo Chiribiri
  • Rene Botnar
  • Gerald F. Greil


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.


Cardiovascular magnetic resonance Kawasaki disease Myocarditis Myocardial perfusion Coronary aneurysm Myocardial infarction 



The Division of Imaging Sciences receives support from the Centre of Excellence in Medical Engineering (funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; grant WT 088641/Z/09/Z) as well as the British Heart Foundation Centre of Excellence (British Heart Foundation award RE/08/03). Further support is provided through the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Transplantation, King’s College London, UK (MRC grant no. MR/J006742/1). This research was also supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health. The authors thank James Otton, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, Australia, for his comments regarding the use of Computed Tomography for coronary imaging.

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of Interest for any of authors of the review.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Mavrogeni
    • 1
  • George Papadopoulos
    • 2
  • Tarique Hussain
    • 3
    • 4
  • Amedeo Chiribiri
    • 3
  • Rene Botnar
    • 3
  • Gerald F. Greil
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Onassis Cardiac Surgery CenterAthensGreece
  2. 2.Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s HospitalAthensGreece
  3. 3.Division of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, King’s College LondonSt. Thomas’ HospitalLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Paediatric CardiologyEvelina Children’s HospitalLondonUK

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