Melatonin: A hypothesis for Kawasaki disease treatment

Eva Ramos, Paloma Patiño, Russel J. Reiter, Emilio Gil-Martín, Francisco López-Muñoz, Alejandro Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Kawasaki disease (KD) is the most common cause of acquired heart disease with unknown etiology among children in developed countries. Acute inflammation of the vasculature, genetic susceptibility and immunopathogenesis based on a transmittable and infectious origin, are the pathologic events involved in the early inflammatory etiology and progression of this disease. However, the exact causes of KD remain unknown. Current proposed recommendations include three therapy lines; firstly, an initial standard therapy with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) followed by aspirin. Secondly, in cases of high risk of coronary lesions, the adjunctive therapy with corticosteroid is commonly considered. Thirdly, in KD patients refractory to the previous therapies, tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) antagonists are being used to modulate pro-inflammatory cytokines. In view of this status quo, our starting hypothesis is that the ubiquitous and non-toxic neurohormone melatonin could be of critical importance in developing novel adjuvant therapies against KD, as it occurs with a plethora of other diseases. Considering its pleiotropic properties, particularly its antiinflammatory and immunoregulatory capacities, melatonin should be of great therapeutic interest for helping to control the main pathologic features of KD patients. In addition, this multifunctional indole has a safe pharmacological profile, enhancing the therapeutic activity of several drugs and reducing their possible side effects. Consequently, melatonińs actions to manage KD need to be tested in further clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-10
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Hypotheses
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Melatonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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