BackgroundGlycosylation patterns of serum proteins, such as α1-acid glycoprotein, are modified during an acute phase reaction. The response of acute Kawasaki disease (KD) patients to IVIG treatment has been linked to sialic acid levels on native IgG, suggesting that protein glycosylation patterns vary during the immune response in acute KD. Additionally, the distribution and function of lipoprotein particles are altered during inflammation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the potential for GlycA, a marker of protein glycosylation, and the lipoprotein particle profile to distinguish pediatric patients with acute KD from those with other febrile illnesses.
MethodsNuclear magnetic resonance was used to quantify GlycA and lipoprotein particle classes and subclasses in pediatric subjects with acute KD (n = 75), post-treatment subacute (n = 36) and convalescent (n = 63) KD, as well as febrile controls (n = 48), and age-similar healthy controls (n = 48).
ResultsGlycA was elevated in acute KD subjects compared to febrile controls with bacterial or viral infections, IVIG-treated subacute and convalescent KD subjects, and healthy children (P <0.0001). Acute KD subjects had increased total and small low density lipoprotein particle numbers (LDL-P) (P <0.0001) and decreased total high density lipoprotein particle number (HDL-P) (P <0.0001) compared to febrile controls. Consequently, the ratio of LDL-P to HDL-P was higher in acute KD subjects than all groups tested (P <0.0001). While GlycA, CRP, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, LDL-P and LDL-P/HDL-P ratio were able to distinguish patients with KD from those with other febrile illnesses (AUC = 0.789-0.884), the combinations of GlycA and LDL-P (AUC = 0.909) or GlycA and the LDL-P/HDL-P ratio (AUC = 0.910) were best at discerning KD in patients 6-10 days after illness onset.
ConclusionsHigh levels of GlycA confirm enhanced protein glycosylation as part of the acute phase response in KD patients. When combined with common laboratory tests and clinical characteristics, GlycA and NMR-measured lipoprotein particle parameters may be useful for distinguishing acute KD from bacterial or viral illnesses in pediatric patients.