Updated: Aug 3
Kawasaki disease, also known as lymph node syndrome, mucocutaneous node disease, infantile polyarteritis and Kawasaki syndrome, is a poorly understood self-limited vasculitis that affects many organs, including the skin and mucous membranes, lymph nodes, blood vessel walls, and the heart. It does not seem to be contagious. It was first described in 1967 by Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki in Japan.
Kawasaki is an inflammatory condition that can be fatal to children, usually under five.
It is also known as mucocutaneous lymph Syndrome, it is rare, but not connected to Covid 19, as far as we know of, at this time.
The exact cause of Kawasaki disease is still unknown.
That a mixture of genetics and environmental factors can cause Kawasaki syndrome
Kawasaki disease often begins with a high and persistent fever that is not very responsive to normal doses of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. The fever may persist steadily for up to two weeks and is normally accompanied by irritability. Affected children develop red eyes, red mucous membranes in the mouth, red cracked lips, a "strawberry tongue", iritis, keratic precipitates (detectable by an ophthalmologist but usually too small to be seen by the unaided eye), and swollen lymph nodes. Skin rashes occur early in the disease, and peeling of the skin in the genital area, hands, and feet (especially around the nails and on the palms and soles) may occur in later phases. Some of these symptoms may come and go during the course of the illness. If left untreated, the symptoms will eventually relent, but coronary artery aneurysms will not improve, resulting in a significant risk of death or disability due to myocardial infarction (heart attack). If treated in a timely fashion, this risk can be mostly avoided and the course of illness cut short.
High-grade fever (greater than 39 °C or 102 °F; often as high as 40 °C or 104 °F) that normally lasts for more than a week if left untreated.
Red eyes (conjunctivitis) without pus or drainage, also known as "conjunctival injection"
Bright red, chapped, or cracked lips
Red mucous membranes in the mouth
Strawberry tongue, white coating on the tongue or prominent red bumps (papillae) on the back of the tongue
Red palms of the hands and the soles of the feet
Swollen hands and feet
Rash which may take many forms, but not vesicular (blister-like), on the trunk
Swollen lymph nodes (frequently only one lymph node is swollen), particularly in the neck area
Joint pain (arthralgia) and swelling, frequently symmetrical
Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
Peeling (desquamation) palms and soles (later in the illness); peeling may begin around the nails
The sooner noticed and taken to hospital the better chance of survival, as it affects the arteries, veins and can lead to inflammation of the heart - Children diagnosed with KD should begin treatment immediately to prevent heart damage.
Timing is critical for preventing serious heart problems. Studies also r
Some children may require longer treatment time to prevent a blocked artery or a heart attack. In these cases, treatment involves daily antiplatelet aspirin doses until they have a normal echocardiograph. It may take six to eight weeks for coronary artery abnormalities to reverse.
parents need to watch
What are the possible complications of Kawasaki disease?
Kawasaki syndrome leads to serious heart problems in about 25 percent
of the children who have the disease. Untreated KD can lead increase your risk for a heart attack and cause:
myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle
dysrhythmia or an abnormal heart rhythm
aneurysm, or weakening and bulging of the artery wall
factors include being obese or over weight, having high cholesterol, and smoking.
What’s the long-term outlook for Kawasaki disease?
There are four possible outcomes for someone with Kawasaki syndrome:
· You make a full recovery without heart problems, which requires early diagnosis and treatment.
· You develop coronary artery problems. In 60 percent of these cases, patients are able to reduce these concerns within a year.
· You experience long-term heart problems, which requires long-term treatment.
· You have a reoccurrence of Kawasaki syndrome, which happens in only 3 percent of cases.
Kawasaki syndrome has a positive outcome when diagnosed and treated early. With treatment, only 3 to 5 percent of Kawasaki syndrome cases develop with coronary artery problems. Aneurysms develop in 1 percent.
Children who have had Kawasaki disease should receive an echocardiogram every one or two years to screen for heart problems.
It is as fatal, it needs immediate action. Even if parents are not sure, better to let a physician or pediatrician look at them to see if it is or not.