Kawasaki's Disease

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Kawasaki's disease facts

  • Kawasaki's disease is a syndrome of unknown cause that mainly strikes young children.
  • Signs of the disease include fever and redness of the eyes, hands, feet, mouth, and tongue.
  • The disease can be treated with high doses of aspirin (salicylic acid) and gammaglobulin.
  • Kawasaki's disease usually resolves on its own within a month or two.
  • Some children with Kawasaki's disease suffer damage to the coronary arteries.

What is Kawasaki's disease, and how is it diagnosed?

Kawasaki's disease is an uncommon illness in children that is characterized by high fever of at least five days' duration together with at least four of the following five findings:

  1. Inflammation with reddening of the whites of the eyes (conjunctivitis) without pus
  2. Redness or swelling of the hands or feet, or generalized skin peeling
  3. Rash
  4. Lymph node swelling in the neck
  5. Cracking, inflamed lips or throat, or red "strawberry" tongue

The above criteria are used to make a diagnosis of Kawasaki's disease. The terminology "incomplete Kawasaki's disease" is sometimes used for patients with only some features of classical Kawasaki's disease. Most patients are under 5 years of age.

What is mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome?

Mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome is the original name for Kawasaki's disease. The original name was quite descriptive because the disease is characterized by the typical changes in the mucous membranes that line the lips and mouth and by the enlarged and tender lymph nodes. Kawasaki's disease is also sometimes referred to as Kawasaki disease.


Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Kawasaki Disease - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with Kawasaki's disease?
Kawasaki Disease - Treatments Question: What treatment has been effective for your Kawasaki's disease?
Kawasaki Disease - Describe Your Experience Question: Did you or your child have Kawasaki's disease? Please share your experience.

Kawasaki's Disease History

Kawasaki syndrome (KS), also known as Kawasaki disease, is an acute febrile illness of unknown etiology that primarily affects children younger than 5 years of age. KS was first described in Japan by Tomisaku Kawasaki in 1967, and the first cases outside of Japan were reported in Hawaii in 1976.

KS occurs worldwide, with the highest incidence in Japan, and it most often affects boys and younger children. KS may have a winter-spring seasonality, and community-wide outbreaks have been reported occasionally. In the continental United States, population-based and hospitalization studies have estimated an incidence of KS ranging from 9 to 19 per 100,000 children younger than 5 years of age. Approximately 4248 hospitalizations with KS, of which 3277 (77%) were for children under 5 years of age, were estimated among children younger than 18 years of age in the United States in the year 2000. In 2006, the number of hospitalizations with KS was 5523 (standard error [SE] 289) and the percentage of children under 5 years of age remained the same.

SOURCE: CDC


STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!