Unlikely association between Kawasaki disease and intracranial aneurysms: a prospective cohort study

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Kawasaki disease (KD) is a vasculitis that can cause aneurysm formation in coronary arteries and, more rarely, in peripheral arteries. A possible connection between KD and intracranial aneurysms is unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine if KD is associated with intracranial aneurysms.


In this prospective cohort study, all patients hospitalized and diagnosed with KD in the authors’ hospital district area in the period from 1978 to 1995 were identified. Patients with a current age ≥ 25 years and a history of KD in childhood were included in the study, which was conducted between 2016 and 2017. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) of the brain was performed in all patients.


Forty patients (25 males), whose mean age was 33.5 ± 3.9 years (mean ± standard deviation), were eligible for study inclusion. The mean age at KD diagnosis was 3.9 ± 3.1 years, and the mean follow-up was 29.5 ± 4.3 years. Six patients (15%) had coronary arterial lesions during the acute illness of KD. None of the patients (0%) had intracranial aneurysms on brain MRA, which is significantly under the prevalence of 10% (95% CI 0%–8.8%, p = 0.03) that is the recommended limit for intracranial aneurysm screening.


The study results suggest that KD is not associated with an increased prevalence of intracranial aneurysms and that screening for intracranial aneurysms is not warranted in patients with a history of KD.

ABBREVIATIONS KD = Kawasaki disease; MRA = MR angiography; TOF = time of flight.

Article Information

Correspondence Dan Laukka: Turku University Hospital, University of Turku, Finland. djalau@utu.fi.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online February 15, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2018.11.PEDS18575.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.






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