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Kawasaki disease

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 »

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 »

Causes of Kawasaki disease:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Kawasaki disease. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors
  • ITPKC gene
  • Immunological causes
  • Infectious etiology
  • more causes...»

» Review Causes of Kawasaki disease: Causes

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 about 1% of children with ...Kawasaki disease Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Kawasaki disease may include:

  • Hospital admission
  • Close cardiovascular monitoring
  • Aspirin for patients with small aneurysms
  • Dipyridamole
  • Immunomodulatory agents
  • Immune globulin
  • Carimune
  • more treatments...»

Review further information on Kawasaki disease Treatments.

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

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 Institute of Health)

Detailed list of causes of Kawasaki disease

The list below shows some of the causes of Kawasaki disease mentioned in various sources:

  • Environmental factors
  • Genetic factors
  • Immunological causes
  • Infectious etiology
  • ITPKC gene
  • more causes...»

How Common are these Causes of Kawasaki disease?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Kawasaki disease. Of the 5 causes of Kawasaki disease that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 0 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 5 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Kawasaki disease:

The following list of conditions have 'Kawasaki disease' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Kawasaki disease or choose View All.

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What are the alternative names for Kawasaki disease:

Mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

These general medical articles may be of interest:

Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Kawasaki disease:

More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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