Ask the KD Experts: Kawasaki Disease and Calcium Testing
I had KD when I was 2. I am now 22 and have had several weird heart issues that they weren’t identifiable with an echo since then. I was just reading about other tests that can be done, such as the calcium test. Would that be a good option for me? Can you point me in the right direction if not? Thank you.
We recommend a CT calcium score for all KD patients who are unsure of their status with respect to coronary artery Z score during the acute phase. This applies to virtually all patients evaluated in before 2004 when Z scores started to be adopted more broadly. The purpose of the score is to look for calcium deposited as a scar in the wall of the coronary artery. However, many insurance companies refuse to cover the costs. The price can be quite modest, and the radiation dose is trivial; here in San Diego at the San Diego Imaging Center, the cost to patients is $100, direct pay. If the calcium score is zero, then one can be quite reassured that the coronary arteries were not severely affected by KD in childhood. The score is most useful when performed at least ten years after KD.
Jane C. Burns, M.D.
Professor and Director, Kawasaki Disease Research Center
Dept. of Pediatrics MC 0641
UCSD School of Medicine
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093-0641