Current Kawasaki Disease Research Studies

​Adult KD Collaborative

This collaboration with colleagues in adult cardiology seeks to answer important questions about the long term outcome for adults who suffered from KD in childhood. Young adults who have had KD in childhood should contact our study coordinator at  if interested in participating in this comprehensive look at cardiovascular health following KD.

  • View the San Diego Adult KDCollaborative brochure
  • Gordon JB, Kahn A, Burns JC. When children with Kawasaki disease grow up: Myocardial and vascular complications in adulthood. JACC 2009;54:1911-1920.


New clinical trial for primary treatment for children with KD

About 20-30% of children will be resistant to their first infusion of IVIG (standard treatment for KD). In addition, despite timely treatment, approximately 9% will go on to develop coronary artery aneurysms. In an effort to increase the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory therapy, we are enrolling patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of IVIG plus infliximab vs. IVIG plus placebo. This clinical trial is sponsored by the FDA and will evaluate which treatment is best for children with KD. For more information go to and type in “Kawasaki Disease”.

  • Son MB, Gauvreau K, Burns JC, Corinaldesi E, Tremoulet AH, Watson VE, Baker A, Fulton DR, Sundel RP, Newburger JW.  Infliximab for IVIG resistance in Kawasaki disease: A retrospective two-center study. J Pediatr. 2011 Apr; 158(4):644-649.e1. Epub 2010 Dec 3.
  • Burns JC, Best BM, Mejias A, Mahony L, Fixler DE, Jafri HS, Melish ME, Jackson MA, Asmar B, Lang D, Connor JD, Capparelli EV, Keen ML, Mamun K, Keenan G, Ramilo O. Infliximab treatment of IVIG-resistant Kawasaki disease. J Pediatr 2008 153(6):833-8.
  • Tremoulet AH, Best BM, Song S, Wang S, Corinaldesi E, Eichenfield J, Burns JC. Resistance to intravenous immunoglobulin in children with Kawasaki Disease.  J Pediatr. 2008;153:117-121.

Patient-specific simulations of flow in coronary artery aneurysms

We are collaborating with Dr. Alison Marsden and her team in Aerospace Engineering at UCSD to provide patient data from CT scans to enable model building that will help predict risk of clot formation in individual patients.

Genetic polymorphisms study

An examination of KD patients’ DNA and comparison with DNA from their biologic parents can reveal the ways in which children are genetically predisposed to develop Kawasaki disease and coronary artery aneurysms. We are currently enrolling patients and their parents in this study. Please contact us if you would like to participate (858-246-0157 or e-mail

  • Shimizu C, Jain S, Lin KO, Molkara D, Frazer JR, Sun S, Baker AL, Newburger JW, Rowley AH, Shulman ST, Davila S, Hibberd ML, Burgner D, Breunis WB, Kuijpers TW, Wright VJ, Levin M, Popper SJ, Relman DA, Fury W, Lin C, Mellis S, Tremoulet AH, Burns JC. Transforming growth factor-β signaling pathway in patients with Kawasaki disease. Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics 2011;4:16-25.
  • Khor CC, Davila S, Shimizu C, Sheng S, Matsubara T, Suzuki Y, Newburger JW, Baker A, Burgner D, Breunis W, Kuijpers T, Wright VJ, Levin M, Hibberd ML, Burns JC. Genome wide linkage and association mapping identify susceptibility alleles in ABCC4 for Kawasaki disease. In press, Journal of Medical Genetics. J Med Genet. 2011 Jul;48(7):467-472.
  • Shimizu C, Matsubara T, Onouchi Y, Jain S, Sun S, Nievergelt CM, Shike H, Takegawa T,  Furukawa, Akagi T, Newburger JW, Baker AL, Burgner D, Hibberd ML, Davila S, Levin M, Mamtani M, He W, Ahuja SK, Burns JC. Matrix metalloproteinases haplotypes are associated with coronary artery aneurysm formation in patients with Kawasaki disease. J Human Genetics 2010;55(12):779-84.
  • Onouchi Y, Ozaki K, Buns JC, Shimizu C, Hamada H, Honda T, Terai M, Honda A, Takeuchi T, Shibuta S, Suenaga T, Suzuki H, Higashi K, Yasukawa K, Suzuki Y, Sasago K, Kemmotsu Y, Takatsuki S, Saji T, Yoshikawa T, Nagai T, Hamamoto K, Kishi F, Ouchi K, Sato Y, Newburger JW, Baker AL, Shulman ST, Rowley AH, Yashiro M, Nakamura Y, Wakui K, Fukushima Y, Fujino A, Tsunoda T, Kawasaki T, Hata A, Nakamura Y, Tanaka T. Common variants in CASP3 confer susceptibility to Kawasaki disease. Human Molecular Genetics. 2010;19: 2898-2906.
  • Mamtani M, Matsubara T, Shimizu C, Weijing He, Furukawa S, Akagi T, Onouchi Y, Hata A, Fujino A, Ahuja SK, Burns J. Association of CCR2-CCR5 haplotypes and CCL3L1 copy number with Kawasaki disease, coronary artery disease, and therapy responses in Japanese children. PloS One 2010;5:e11458.
  • Burgner D, Davila S, Breunis WB, Ng SB, Li Y, Bonnard C, Ling L, Wright VJ, Odam M, Shimizu C, Burns JC, Levin M, Kuijpers TW, Hibberd ML for the International Kawasaki Disease Genetics Consortium. A genome-wide association study identifies novel and functionally related susceptibility loci for Kawasaki disease. PloS Genetics. 2009 Jan:5(1):e1000319.
  • Onouchi Y, Gunji T, Burns JC, Shimizu C, Newburger JW, Yashiro M, Nakamura Y, Yanagawa H, Wakui K, Fukushima Y, Kishi F, Hamamoto K, Terai M, Sato Y, Ouchi K, Saji T, Narai A, Kaburagi Y, Yoshikawa T, Suzuki K, Tanaka T, Nagai T, Cho H, Fujino A, Sekine A, Nakmuchi R, Tatsuhiko T, Kawasaki T, Nakamura Y, Hata A. IPTKC functional polymorphism associated with Kawasaki disease susceptibility and formation of coronary artery aneurysms. Nature Genetics 2008 Jan;40(1):35-42.

Gene expression in KD

This study uses microarray analysis of whole blood RNA to understand pathways of gene expression in acute KD that may lead to new treatments for KD.

  • Fury W, Tremoulet AH, Watson VE, Best BA, Shimizu C, Hamilton J, Kanegaye JT, Wei Y, Kao C, Burns JC. Transcript abundance patterns in Kawasaki disease patients with IVIG-resistance. Human Immunology 2010;7:865-873.
  • Popper SJ, Watson VE, Shimizu C, Kanegaye JT, Burns JC, Relman DA. Gene transcript abundance profiles distinguish Kawasaki disease from adenovirus infection. J Inf Dis 2009;200:657-666.

Proteomic analysis of acute KD plasma and urine

This study is a collaboration with Dr. Harvey Cohen and the proteomics unit at Stanford University. Analysis of peptide fragments in the plasma and urine of patients with acute KD may lead to novel diagnostic markers for the development of a diagnostic test for KD.

  • Ling XB, Lau K, Deshpande C, Park JL, Milojevic D, Xiao C, Lopez-Avila V, Burns JC, Cohen H, Schilling J, Mellins ED. Urine peptidomic and targeted plasma protein analyses suggest SJIA urine peptide biomarkers an outcome of inflammation-driven effects on catabolic pathways operating at multiple sites. Clin Proteomics. 2010;6(4):175-193.