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Logo of aairAllergy, Asthma & Immunology ResearchThis ArticleThis JournalAboutFor Contributorse-Submission
Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2012 November; 4(6): 351–356.
Published online 2012 June 29. doi:  10.4168/aair.2012.4.6.351
PMCID: PMC3479229

Elevated Serum Levels of IL-21 in Kawasaki Disease



The serum level of immunoglobulin (Ig)E has been reported to be elevated in patients with Kawasaki disease (KD). We investigated whether interleukin (IL)-21, rather than IL-4, could be related to elevated serum levels of IgE in KD.


Sera from 48 patients with KD and 12 controls with high fever were collected to determine the level of IgE using an immunoassay system and the levels of IL-4 and IL-21 were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits.


The median IL-21 level of KD patients was significantly elevated, at 499.5 pg/mL (range: <62.5-1,544 pg/mL), whereas that of controls was <62.5 pg/mL (<62.5-825 pg/mL; P<0.001). The median IL-4 level of KD patients was not elevated (4.0 pg/mL; 2.1-7.6 pg/mL). The median level of total IgE in KD patients was 58.0 IU/mL (5-1,109 IU/mL). No statistically significant correlation was found between IL-21 and total IgE levels (Spearman's R=0.2; P=0.19).


Patients with KD have elevated levels of IL-21 in the serum. IL-21 may play a role in the pathogenesis of KD.

Keywords: Interleukin-21, immunoglobulin E, mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome

Articles from Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research are provided here courtesy of Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease