Tumor necrosis factor(TNF)-α plays a major role in the pathogenesis of Kawasaki disease (KD), a systemic vasculitis primarily affecting young children. We performed this study to examine the serum levels of TNF-α and to investigate a possible relation to promoter polymorphism at positions -238 and -308 in KD patients in Korea. We obtained 48 paired serum samples from 24 patients in the acute and subacute stages of KD, and control sera from 12 age-matched children who were having routine blood samples taken before elective surgical procedures. Our studies showed a significant increase in serum levels of TNF-α measured in the acute stage of KD (24.1 ± 9.4 pg/mL) compared to those in the subacute stage (11.8 ± 5.8 pg/mL; p < 0.01) and normal controls (10.4 ± 4.9 pg/mL; p < 0.01). Previous studies report that the presence of the A allele at positions -308 and -238 may be associated with higher TNF-α levels. However, our results showed that the frequency of the A allele at position -308 in the KD patients was the same as the controls (2 out of 24, 8.3% vs. 8.3%, odds ratio (OR)= 1.00), while the frequency of the A allele at position -238 in the KD patients was lower than the controls (0/24, 0% vs. 8.3%, OR=0.00); this difference though was not statistically significant. We concluded that although TNF-α levels were significantly elevated in the acute stage of KD, there was no significant difference in the frequency of the A allele at positions -238 and -308 between the KD and control groups in Korean patients.
- Kawasaki disease
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