Study Could Help Predict Aneurysm Risk for Kids with Kawasaki Disease
A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) could improve the quality of life for children with Kawasaki disease at risk of developing coronary artery aneurysms. Dr. Michael Portman, a cardiologist at Seattle Children’s Heart Center Kawasaki Disease Clinic and researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, hopes to find genetic biomarkers that will predict which patients will not respond to the standard treatment and thus have a higher risk of developing coronary artery problems.
The study includes about 800 patients, the majority of which are Seattle Children’s patients who are already enrolled in an existing bank of DNA and clinical data. Sites in Montreal and Alabama will also participate. The researchers hypothesize that new DNA sequencing technology will provide better understanding of the disease and identify biomarkers to accurately predict children’s Kawasaki disease treatment response and potential for developing coronary aneurysms.
“The most exciting thing about this study is that it gives us the opportunity to look at the whole genome, including genes that have not been looked at for Kawasaki disease before,” said Portman. “We are hoping to find genes that we can rapidly screen for when a patient comes to the hospital so that we can determine if more intensive therapy is needed.”