Kawasaki disease is a rare cardiovascular disease affecting children under the age of five. If untreated, there is a chance of coronary aneurism. Diagnosis is a challenge, however, as it shares many symptoms with sepsis.
A team from Jinan University in China sought to develop a way of easily discerning between the two. Sepsis and Kawasaki disease share both clinical symptoms and molecular markers, and no other study has successfully identified any new markers. This new study focused on identifying both clinical and molecular markers of Kawasaki disease and create a system that could reliably discern it from sepsis.
The team gathered data from over four hundred patients who either had sepsis or Kawasaki disease. These data would be split into a training, and a validation set to ensure the system was statistically relevant.
Analysis of the data found that several clinical factors, such as white blood cell and hemoglobin levels, and several protein biomarkers were independently associated with Kawasaki disease. The team used these markers to develop a simple scoring method. Essentially each marker would generate a number, and if that number was over a threshold, the test indicated Kawasaki disease. This test could easily be used in a clinical setting, and validation showed that the test could reliably diagnose Kawasaki disease in most cases.
The team noted that the literature supported many of the indicators they saw in this study, such as low albumin levels to increased white blood cell levels associated with Kawasaki disease, individually but none had used them together. This study developed a test that could discern between sepsis and Kawasaki disease, which could allow Kawasaki disease treatment before it can cause harm.
The team concludes, “This is the first study to use a nomogram to develop a novel prediction model that shows that WBC, anemia, PCT, CRP, albumin, and ALT may help clinicians differentiate KD from sepsis with high accuracy.”