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ADTB-supported research: New way to prevent heart complications in children

17 Oct 2022

Researchers have identified a new way to treat young children with Kawasaki Disease (KD) to prevent life-threatening coronary artery damage and heart attacks.

Severe narrowing and large aneurysms as a result of KD can lead to potentially fatal damage to the heart and predispose patients to heart attacks later in life.

“Current treatments effectively reduce the risk of developing potentially deadly aneurysms in most children, but we need more options for children whose KD is resistant to these treatments," said Professor Ian Wicks.

“The risk of blood clotting and heart attack in these children makes it very important that we identify therapies that can prevent coronary artery damage.”

Study co-lead author Dr Angus Stock said the new research findings suggested that mTOR inhibitors were capable of both preventing and treating these adverse changes in KD patients who developed coronary artery aneurysms.

“These findings set the scene for clinical trials to assess a currently-used medicine to prevent coronary artery damage and heart disease in treatment-resistant KD,” said Professor Wicks.

The authors acknowledge and thank the families of patients with KD and the families of organ donors for allowing the use of their tissue samples in the study.

The study, ‘mTOR inhibition prevents coronary artery remodeling in a murine model of Kawasaki disease’, is published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.


This article was adapted from an original article by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI).

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