Kawasaki disease: Introduction
Kawasaki disease is a rare disease that occurs in children and leads to vasculitis, in which there is an inflammation of the blood vessels of the body. This blood vessel inflammation can result in many manifestations in different organs and body systems and can lead to serious complications, such as aneurysms and heart attack.
Kawasaki disease is also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, lymph node syndrome, and Kawasaki syndrome. Kawasaki disease has no known cause, but it is suspected to be an autoimmune disease, in which the body's immune system mistakes healthy cells of the body as dangerous invaders and attacks them.
Kawasaki disease is most common in Japan. In the U.S., Kawasaki disease is the second most common cause of heart disease in children. Kawasaki disease most frequently occurs in children under five and in boys.
Kawasaki disease begins with a high fever, up to 104 degrees F, that lasts five or more days. Unlike fevers due to many other causes, the fever associated with Kawasaki disease does not come down with usual doses of acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). In addition to vasculitis, Kawasaki disease can result in a variety of symptoms many parts of the body. The most common sites of symptoms include the mucus membranes and lymph nodes. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of Kawasaki disease.
Making a diagnosis of Kawasaki disease begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms and fever history, and completing a physical examination. There is no single test that can diagnose Kawasaki disease. A history of a high and persistent fever combined with other classic symptoms is generally used to make a diagnosis.
A variety of tests may be done to rule out other diseases that can cause fever. These can include a blood culture, urinanalysis and urine culture and sensitivity, and throat culture and sensitivity. Other tests that may be done to evaluate any potential complications of Kawasaki disease, such as heart disease, include a chest X-ray, C-reactive protein, echocardiogram and electrocardiogram.
It is possible that a diagnosis of Kawasaki disease can be missed or delayed because there is no specific diagnostic test for it, and because some symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea and cough can resemble symptoms of other more common diseases, such as strep throat and influenza. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of Kawasaki disease.
It is vital that children with Kawasaki disease get treated as soon as possible to prevent the development of serious, life-threatening complications, such as aneurysms and heart attack. Even with early recognition and treatment, about one quarter of children with Kawasaki disease develop complications with the coronary arteries. Treatment of Kawasaki disease includes hospitalization, close monitoring, medications and ongoing medical care and screenings for heart disease. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of Kawasaki disease. ...more »
A condition characterized by high fevers, rash, swelling of lymph nodes in the neck and pain. The condition usually occurs only in children and death can occur if the coronary arteries are involved. The cause of the disease is unknown. The condition is also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome. ...more »
Kawasaki disease: Symptoms
Symptoms and manifestations of Kawasaki disease can appear in many areas of the body and complications can be serious, even life-threatening.
Kawasaki disease occurs in children, generally under age five. It typically begins with a high fever, up to 104 degrees F, that lasts five or more days. Unlike fevers due to many other causes, the fever associated with Kawasaki disease does not ...more symptoms »
Kawasaki disease: Treatments
Early recognition and treatment of Kawasaki disease is critical to minimizing the chances of develop serious, even life-threatening, complications, such as aneurysms and heart attack. Even with early recognition and treatment, about one quarter of children with Kawasaki disease develop complications with the coronary arteries. However, death only occurs in ...more treatments »
Kawasaki disease: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of Kawasaki disease may be overlooked, delayed or missed in the U.S. because it is rarer in the U.S. than in Japan. Some symptoms may also initially be attributed to more common conditions. Symptoms, such as fever, nausea, vomiting, cough and joint pain are similar to symptoms of more common conditions, such as influenza, upper respiratory infection, strep throat, or ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Kawasaki disease
See full list of 36
symptoms of Kawasaki disease
Home Diagnostic Testing
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Kawasaki disease?
Kawasaki disease: Related Patient Stories
Kawasaki disease: Deaths
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Kawasaki disease: Complications
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Causes of Kawasaki disease
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Disease Topics Related To Kawasaki disease
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Kawasaki disease: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:
Misdiagnosis and Kawasaki disease
Mild worm infections undiagnosed in children: Human worm infestations, esp. threadworm, can be overlooked in some cases,
because it may cause only mild or even absent symptoms....read more »
Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss,
there are varying degrees of severity.
It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or from delaying...read more »
Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also
many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually...read more »
Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations
and rapid...read more »
Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed,
leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed.
People become...read more »
Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the
more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be...read more »
Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue
with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure.
The "cuff" around the...read more »
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be
correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients.
These patients are not the typical migraine...read more »
Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often
misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in...read more »
Read more about Misdiagnosis and Kawasaki disease
Kawasaki disease: Research Doctors & Specialists
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Kawasaki disease: Rare Types
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Latest Treatments for Kawasaki disease
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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Kawasaki disease
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Kawasaki disease: Animations
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Research about Kawasaki disease
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Clinical Trials for Kawasaki disease
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and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.
Some of the clinical trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov for Kawasaki disease include:
See full list of 7
Clinical Trials for Kawasaki disease
Statistics for Kawasaki disease
Kawasaki disease: Broader Related Topics
Types of Kawasaki disease
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Definitions of Kawasaki disease:
Systemic disease primarily of infants and young children, characterized by skin rash, swelling of hands and feet, enlarged cervical lymph nodes, "strawberry tongue", dry and cracked lips, high fevers, and coronary artery disease.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
An acute disease of young children characterized by a rash and swollen lymph nodes and fever; of unknown cause
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
Kawasaki disease is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of
Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health
(NIH). This means that Kawasaki disease, or a subtype of Kawasaki disease,
affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Ophanet, a consortium of European partners,
currently defines a condition rare when it affects 1 person per 2,000.
They list Kawasaki disease as a "rare disease".
Source - Orphanet
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