Seattle Children's Provider News

Kawasaki Disease: A Q&A With Dr. Michael Portman

Michael Portman

Michael Portman

How has our understanding of Kawasaki disease etiology changed?

Dr. Michael Portman, director, Pediatric Cardiovascular Research, Seattle Children’s: Kawasaki disease (KD) is considered a systemic autoinflammatory disease and vasculitis that shows specific predilection for the coronary arteries, resulting in dilation or aneurysm formation. Many KD experts believe that the autoinflammatory response is triggered by environmental factors in genetically susceptible children. Over the past decade numerous genetic loci and polymorphisms have been identified as influencing KD susceptibility and treatment response. For instance, studies performed at Seattle Children’s Research Institute have highlighted the importance of polymorphisms for genes encoding Fcγ receptors, which regulate immune cell responses. The specific environmental factors have not been clearly identified but may be related to a common antigen carried by certain bacteria or viruses. Read full post »

Update About Our Operating Rooms

Providing safe, quality care is our most important responsibility at Seattle Children’s, and we are all committed to doing what is right to keep our patients safe. Thanks to community partners like you, we continue to uphold our commitment and deliver care to patients across our region. We are very sorry for the impact this has had on our patients, families and community partners.

Ongoing Improvements

In the coming months, we will make additional improvements to our air filtration system and install a new air handler. We have learned a great deal throughout this experience and will share our learnings with other hospitals and regulatory organizations. Learn more about the improvements we have implemented.

As we continue to implement additional, long-term and enhanced maintenance to our air handling and purification system, we expect intermittent, planned closures of our operating rooms. We will take great care to support patients and families during these maintenance activities.

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Seattle Children’s Scientists Advance B-Cell Research

Scientists at Seattle Children’s Research Institute are paving the way to use gene-edited B cells — a type of white blood cell in the immune system — to treat a wide range of potential diseases that affect children, including hemophilia and other protein deficiency disorders, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. If successful, their research would open the door to offering this experimental cell therapy as the first of its kind in clinical trials at Seattle Children’s in as soon as five years.

B cells play a central role in the immune system. When the body is confronted with an infection, B cells turn into plasma cells that release protective antibodies that both fight ongoing infections and prevent future ones. Unlike other cells of the immune system that have relatively short lifespans, plasma B cells can survive and continuously produce antibodies for decades. Read full post »

Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease Through Diet

Presentations by Dr. David Suskind and Dr. Dale Lee of Seattle Children’s IBD Center at this year’s Nutrition Symposium on the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) are now available to view online. There is mounting evidence that certain nutritional therapies, including SCD, can reduce inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) inflammation and promote healing of the intestinal mucosa in children. The IBD Center at Seattle Children’s is a leader in offering these nutritional therapies that are not found everywhere.

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Grand Rounds at Seattle Children’s

Join us Thursday mornings from 8 to 9 a.m. for presentations by pediatric healthcare experts. All are welcome at this weekly free Category 1 CME event. Location: Wright Auditorium, Seattle Children’s. Or watch the live webcast.

Sept. 12, 2019: No Grand Rounds (cancelled for renovations to Wright Auditorium)

Sept. 19, 2019: Digital Addiction – A 21st-Century Epidemic. Adkins Lecture. Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH; Editor, JAMA Pediatrics; Director, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute; George Adkins Professor of Pediatrics, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Adjunct Professor of Health Services, University of Washington.

Sept. 26, 2019: Wearable Technologies in Pediatric Ophthalmology. Roger Johnson Ophthalmology Lecture. Joseph M. Miller, MD, MPH; The Murray and Clara Walker Memorial Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology; Professor, Optical Sciences; Professor, Public Health, University of Arizona.

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New Clinical Trial Uses Novel Gene Therapy to Treat the Most Common Type of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Out of every 60,000 births, a baby arrives to face the world without a fully functioning immune system, leaving them unequipped to fight even the most common infections. Children with this rare life-threatening genetic condition, known as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), have the best chance at a healthy future if they undergo a stem cell transplant before they are three and a half months old.

Seattle Children’s recently opened a clinical trial that is seeking a potentially safer, less aggressive and equally effective path to a cure by using a novel gene therapy to fix the faulty gene that causes the most common type of SCID.

On the Pulse met with the trial’s principal investigator, Dr. Aleksandra Petrovic, a pediatric transplant specialist and researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies, to learn more about the experimental therapy available through this trial.

Aleksandra Petrovic

Aleksandra Petrovic

What hope does this trial offer to a baby born with SCID?

Dr. Petrovic: SCID refers to a group of inherited disorders where many genetic abnormalities hinder the development of critical components of the immune system in one way or another. Without treatment, children with SCID will not live past two years old. Those fortunate enough to have a sibling match — about 25% of patients — can undergo a bone marrow transplant, with a high rate of success. Otherwise, transplant from an unrelated donor or a parent is the next best treatment option, but provides in some cases only partial correction of the deficiency.

This trial offers a new way to treat one type of SCID called X-linked SCID in newborns with no sibling match. X-linked SCID, or XSCID, affects boys and is the one we see most often. Our hope is that the gene therapy will produce a more robust immune system without the complications associated with transplant in these babies. Read full post »

Spokane PAL Program CME – Child Mental Health

The Partnership Access Line (PAL) is hosting a free child mental health educational conference for primary care providers on Sept. 14, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Davenport Grand Hotel, 333 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA 99201. Breakfast and treats provided.

Topics include: Pediatric Mood Dysregulation: Irritability, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, and ADHD Overview and Update.

Learn more and register.

Read more information about upcoming conferences.

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Seattle Children’s One-Day Conference on Sept. 7 (9 CME credits, Category 1)

Seattle Children’s is offering a one-day conference on hot topics in pediatrics as part of the “What’s New in Medicine” conference in Kennewick, Washington, on Saturday, September 7 (nine CME credits, Category 1).

See the conference brochure for details on the schedule, speakers and topics. Space is limited. To register, visit the “What’s New in Medicine” (WNIM) website at and scroll down to click on “Register Now.” Read full post »

Late Onset of ADHD: Fact or Fiction (1 CME credit, Category 2)

Seattle Children’s Department of Psychology offers: “Late Onset of ADHD: Fact or Fiction?” Presented by Margaret Sibley, PhD, associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Sept. 5, 6 p.m.

Location: Providence St. Peter’s Medical Center, 413 Lilly Road NE, Olympia, WA 98506, Room 200 (Maps and Directions)


Learning objectives:

  1. Understand key steps in the diagnostic process for adolescents and adults who present with first-time ADHD symptoms.
  2. Differentiate false positive ADHD cases from true cases of the disorder.
  3. Recognize valid versus invalid profiles of late-onset ADHD.
  4. Identify risk factors for the development or exacerbation of ADHD symptoms in adolescence.
  5. Become familiar with diagnostic and treatment recommendations for adolescents and adults with a first time diagnosis of ADHD.

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Seattle Children’s Team to Accompany Newborns on Airlift

Airlift Northwest and Seattle Children’s are collaborating to further enhance the care available to our region’s most fragile neonatal patients. Starting July 15, 2019, Seattle Children’s Pediatric Neonatal Critical Care Transport Service team members (RN and RT) will accompany Airlift Northwest staff and help provide clinical care on flights transporting neonatal patients between hospitals.

“By combining the expertise of the long-standing critical care flight program at Airlift Northwest with Seattle Children’s Neonatal Critical Care Team, we will be bringing the best of both programs to the patient bedside,” says Dr. Jessica Wall, assistant pediatric medical director of Airlift Northwest and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “That means better outcomes for our pediatric patients in Western Washington and beyond.” Read full post »