Mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome; Infantile polyarteritis
Definition of Kawasaki disease
Kawasaki disease is a rare condition in children that involves inflammation of the blood vessels.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Kawasaki disease occurs most frequently in Japan, where the disease was first discovered. In the United States, after congenital heart defects, Kawasaki disease is the leading cause of heart disease in children. Most of these patients are younger than age 5. The disease occurs more often in boys than in girls.
Kawasaki disease often begins with a high and persistent greater than 102 °F, often as high as 104 °F. A persistent fever lasting at least 5 days is considered a classic sign. The fever may last for up to 2 weeks and does not usually go away with normal doses of acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen.
Signs and tests
No tests specifically diagnose Kawasaki disease. The diagnosis is usually made based on the patient having most of the classic symptoms.
Children with Kawasaki disease are admitted to the hospital. Treatment must be started as soon as the diagnosis is made to prevent damage to the coronary arteries and heart.
With early recognition and treatment, full recovery can be expected. However, about 1% of patients die from complications of coronary blood vessel inflammation. Patients who have had Kawasaki disease should have an echocardiogram every 1 – 2 years to screen for heart problems.
David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.; and Neil J. Gonter, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia University, NY and private practice specializing in Rheumatology at Rheumatology Associates of North Jersey, Teaneck, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. – 11/23/2009