Large pleural effusion necessitates chest tube drainage in a patient with Kawasaki disease


Dr Taner Yavuz, Pediatric Cardiology, Istanbul Medical School, Fatih 34349, Turkey. Fax: +90 212 414 21 96; email:


Abstract:  An 11-month-old Turkish boy was hospitalised with clinical and roentgen graphic evidence of large pleural effusion on the third day of fever and misdiagnosed as parapneumonic effusion. Due to worsening respiratory distress chest tube drainage was performed. Four days later the classic signs of Kawasaki disease appeared. His clinical condition improved gradually and fever subsided after intravenous gammaglobulin and aspirin treatment. A mild transient dilatation of the right coronary artery was seen and returned to the normal diameter within a few weeks. To our knowledge, large pleural effusion in a case of Kawasaki disease, in which chest tube drainage was needed, has not been reported. We describe here a patient with complete Kawasaki disease whose initial presentation mimicked a parapneumonic effusion.