Cryoprecipitates are postulated to play a role in the pathogenesis of several vasculitis illnesses and infectious diseases. To investigate the presence of cryoprecipitates in Kawasaki syndrome, we studied sera from 25 children with acute Kawasaki syndrome. None of the subjects was treated with intravenous gamma-globulin. Cryoprecipitates were detectable in sera of 11 of 25 (44%) children studied. The mean (+/- SE protein concentration of the cryoprecipitates was 88.0 (+/- 20.2) micrograms/ml serum. Cryoprecipitates consisted primarily of IgG and IgM; no complement components were detected but highly sensitive methods were not used. The presence of cryoprecipitates in the serum of children with acute Kawasaki syndrome was associated with the subsequent development of coronary artery aneurysms detected by echocardiogram (P less than 0.05). There was no association between detectable cryoprecipitates and either peak platelet count or erythrocyte sedimentation rate. In one patient, measurement of cryoprecipitates in serial samples showed a reduction in concentrations that paralleled subsidence of disease activity. We speculate that cryoprecipitates may be a marker for increased risk of coronary aneurysm formation and may play a role in the pathogenesis of the cardiac disease in Kawasaki syndrome.