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A National Survey on the Pediatric Cardiologist's Clinical Approach for Patients with Kawasaki Disease

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In 1994, the American Heart Association (AHA) published the most recent guidelines for long-term cardiovascular management of Kawasaki disease. Since then, recent publications have shed new light on different diagnostic, prognostic, and management issues. We sought the opinion of pediatric cardiologists practicing in U.S. fellowship programs on the subject by means of a multiple-choice survey. Two questions addressed therapy in the acute phase, each preceded by a statement from related literature. Ten duplicate questions addressed the long-term cardiovascular management in five sets of paired questions; each question was first given in reminiscence of a clinical situation and then preceded by a statement from particular publications representative of new information that has become available since the publication of the 1994 AHA guidelines. All questions were provided in the same mailing. Replies were received from 97 participants practicing at 29 institutions. For the acute illness, 21% of respondents do not use high-dose aspirin, and 50% support reassessment of current guidelines. Universal intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) administration is followed by 97%, among whom 20% agree that evaluation of selection criteria is needed. For long-term management, 60–75% advocate regular follow-up of risk level I patients, and 80% favor periodic follow-up, with stress imaging (34–40%), for risk level II. For risk level IV more respondents favor stress echocardiography as opposed to nuclear imaging, in consonance with recent literature. For risk levels III and IV, 36–40% perform coronary angiography on a regular basis, whereas 60% do so when coronary symptoms are present or when stress imaging suggests myocardial ischemia. Finally, 19–25% of respondents do not routinely advise healthy lifestyle to patients free of coronary artery lesions. In conclusion, the guidelines for conventional therapy in the acute phase and long-term cardiovascular management need to be revised.

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Kahwaji, I., Connuck, D., Tafari, N. et al. A National Survey on the Pediatric Cardiologist's Clinical Approach for Patients with Kawasaki Disease . Pediatr Cardiol 23, 639–646 (2002).

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