Kawasaki disease

July 2017


Definition


Kawasaki disease, or "adeno-mucocutaneous syndrome", is a disease whose origin is currently unknown. It affects, in the vast majority of cases, infants and young children before puberty. This disease is rare in adolescents and adults.

Symptoms


The symptoms of Kawasaki disease are:
  • a fever without any cause found, lasting for more than five days;
  • A red rash with no apparent pimples;
  • enanthema, a red rash affecting the mucous membranes, including the lips and tongue, the latter appearing to be "raspberry" colored.
  • redness of the white of the eye, similar to conjunctivitis;
  • peeling of the skin, i.e. the loss of the surface layer of the skin, affecting mainly the area around the genitals, soles of the feet or palms of the hands;
  • lymph nodes increasing in size.

In addition to these classic signs behavioral disorders are often observed. The severity of the disease is defined by the cardiac risks it may entail.

Diagnosis


The diagnosis of Kawasaki disease is difficult to make at first, as many childhood diseases have similar symptoms. It is by witnessing a combination of the above signs, typically five of the six signs mentioned above, that the diagnosis is confirmed. A blood test is sometimes performed showing inflammation, but in case of confirmation of Kawasaki disease, an echocardiography should be performed in search of a coronary aneurysm, i.e. a malformation of a heart artery. Thrombosis, blood clots occluding a blood vessel, can also complicate the disease.

Treatment


Kawasaki disease requires hospitalization. The disease is treated with a drug combination. Aspirin is used to prevent a thrombus formation associated with a course of intravenous immunoglobulin. In addition, an echocardiography should be repeated to monitor the occurrence of a possible aneurysm.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on July 1, 2013 at 01:15 PM by Jeff.
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