Kawasaki Disease Treated With Plasma-Derived Therapy

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Kawasaki disease is an uncommon illness that typically affects children between the ages of two and five and is a leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the United States according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Kawasaki disease is treated with intravenous immune globulin (IVIG), a plasma-derived therapy that replaces vital missing antibodies in a person's plasma and that is manufactured by member companies of the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA).

As reported recently in the news, Backstreet Boys singer Brian Littrell's six-year-old son Baylee has been diagnosed with atypical Kawasaki disease. According to Littrell's website posting, "He received IVIG, which is a treatment to bring down the inflammation in his coronary arteries. Baylee will be closely monitored for the next 6-8 weeks by a Pediatric Cardiologist to see if the treatment was effective." Kawasaki disease can inflame and weaken coronary arteries, creating the risk of blood clots that can cause heart attacks.

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"IVIG is produced from plasma donated by healthy, committed donors across the country," said Julie Birkofer, PPTA Vice President, North America. Plasma is the straw-colored, liquid portion of whole blood that remains when red blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. It is rich in proteins needed to fight infection, clot blood, and ensure proper lung function.

Source plasma used to produce life-saving therapies like IVIG is donated by healthy, committed individuals at 363 government licensed and International Quality Plasma Program-certified plasma collections centers in the U.S., Europe and Canada.

"Nationwide, tens of thousands of individuals rely on plasma protein therapies to treat rare, chronic diseases and disorders, which include hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, primary immunodeficiency diseases, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, Kawasaki disease, and certain autoimmune and neurological disorders," said Birkofer. "These protein replacement therapies are life-saving."

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