Impact of Z score system on the management of coronary artery lesions in Kawasaki disease

Raymond P. Lorenzoni, Noah Elkins, Morgan Quezada, Ellen J. Silver, Joseph Mahgerefteh, Daphne T. Hsu, Nadine F. Choueiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Coronary artery aneurysms are well-described in Kawasaki disease and the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and are graded using Z scores. Three Z score systems (Boston, Montreal, and DC) are widely used in North America. The recent Pediatric Heart Network Z score system is derived from the largest diverse sample to-date. The impact of Z score system on the rate of coronary dilation and management was assessed in a large real-world dataset. Methods: Using a combined dataset of patients with acute Kawasaki disease from the Children's Hospital at Montefiore and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Kawasaki Disease Study, coronary Z scores and the rate of coronary lesions (Z ≥ 2.0) and aneurysms (Z ≥ 2.5) were determined using four Z score systems. Agreement among Z scores and the effect on Kawasaki management were assessed. Results: Of 333 patients analysed, 136 were from Montefiore and 197 from the Kawasaki Disease Study. Age, sex, body surface area, and rate of coronary lesions did not differ between the samples. Among the four Z score systems, the rate of acute coronary lesions varied from 24 to 55%. The mean left anterior descending Z scores from Pediatric Heart Network and Boston had a large uniform discrepancy of 1.3. Differences in Z scores among the four systems may change anticoagulation management in up to 22% of a Kawasaki population. Conclusions: Choice of Z score system alone may impact Kawasaki disease diagnosis and management. Further research is necessary to determine the ideal coronary Z score system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952-959
Number of pages8
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 8 2022


  • Coronary circulation
  • Kawasaki disease
  • pediatrics
  • prognosis
  • quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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