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Kawasaki disease

mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome

Kawasaki disease is named after Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki, a Japanese doctor who identified the condition in 1967

About Kawasaki disease

Kawasaki disease is a rare condition affecting boys more than girls. It is usually found in children under five years of age. It causes high fever, enlarged lymph glands and swollen blood vessels. It can also affect the heart. It can cause coronary artery aneurysms, leakage of valves and an accumulation of fluid, called pericardial effusion.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of Kawasaki disease? icon plus

    • a high temperature that lasts for more than five days
    • a rash on various parts of the body
    • swollen glands in the neck
    • dry, cracked lips
    • red fingers, toes or eyes
    • painful joints
  • Diagnosing kawasaki disease icon plus

    There is no definite test that can be done to find out if a child has Kawasaki disease. Your consultant may have to perform various tests to eliminate other diseases. Tests that may help to diagnose Kawasaki disease include:

    • measuring pulse, blood pressure, temperature and the number of breaths a child takes per minute
    • listening with a stethoscope for changes in the sounds of the heart
    • checking the blood for markers of inflammation
    • checks for chemical balance in the blood and urine
    • an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check the electrical activity of the heart
    • sometimes a CT or MRI of the heart to look at the chambers and coronary arteries in more detail
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    • an infusion of antibiotics called intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
    • high doses of aspirin until the high temperature and acute illness has settled
    • low doses of aspirin to continue for a period of up to six weeks
    • children who develop coronary artery aneurysms may be treated with anticoagulant (anti-clotting) medicines

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From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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