Serum levels of neutrophil activation cytokines in Kawasaki disease


Correspondence HiroyukiSuzuki Department of Pediatrics, Wakayama Medical University, 811-1 Kimiidera, Wakayama 641-0012, Japan. Email:


AbstractBackground: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether neutrophils are early effector cells for vascular endothelial damage in the acute phase of Kawasaki disease (KD) by examining serial changes in neutrophil counts and serum levels of neutrophil activation cytokines, such as granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and interleukin (IL)-8.

Methods: From October 1994 to June 1998, a total of 52 patients with KD were included in the study. Thirty-three patients had some infectious diseases, while 20 healthy children served as control subjects. Serial changes in neutrophils were counted by the optimal Wright–Giemsa staining method and serum levels of IL-8 and G-CSF in patients with KD were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system.

Results: Serum G-CSF levels both before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG; P<0.05) and neutrophil counts after IVIG (P<0.005) were higher in KD patients with coronary arterial lesions (CAL) than those without CAL. However, serum IL-8 levels before and after IVIG showed no significant differences in these two groups.

Conclusions: These data suggest that neutrophils may be important as early effector cells for vascular endothelial damage and that G-CSF may play a more important role than IL-8 in KD.