Plasma Follistatin-Like Protein 1 is Elevated in Kawasaki Disease and May Predict Coronary Artery Aneurysm Formation

Gorelik, M.; Wilson, D. C.; Cloonan, Y. K.; Shulman, S. T.; Hirsch, R.

J Pediatr. 2012 Feb 10; 161(1):116-9


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether plasma levels of follistatin-like protein 1 (FSTL-1), a pro-inflammatory protein produced by mesenchymal tissue, including cardiac myocytes, correlate with the development of Kawasaki disease (KD) and coronary artery aneurysms (CAA). STUDY DESIGN: FSTL-1 plasma levels were measured serially with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 48 patients with KD at time of diagnosis and, when available, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 6 months after onset of disease. These were compared with FSTL-1 plasma levels in 23 control subjects. Data were analyzed with generalized estimating equations. RESULTS: Plasma FSTL-1 levels were elevated in patients with acute KD compared with control subjects (P = .0086). FSTL-1 levels remained significantly elevated at 2 weeks after disease onset, but returned to control levels by 6 months. Seven patients with CAA had significantly higher FSTL-1 levels at the time of diagnosis than patients in whom aneurysms did not develop (P = .0018). Sensitivity and specificity rates for CAA at a specific FSTL-1 cutoff point (178 ng/mL) were 85% and 71%. CONCLUSIONS: Plasma levels of FSTL-1 are elevated in acute KD and may predict cardiac morbidity in this disease. These results suggest a possible role for FSTL-1 in the formation of CAAs.

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