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- Kawasaki's disease facts
- What is Kawasaki's disease, and how do doctors diagnose it?
- What is mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome?
- What are causes and risk factors of Kawasaki's disease?
- Who develops Kawasaki's disease?
- What are the usual symptoms and signs of Kawasaki's disease?
- What are unusual signs and symptoms of Kawasaki's disease?
- What is the difference between Kawasaki's disease and Kawasaki's syndrome?
- Is Kawasaki's disease contagious?
- How can Kawasaki's disease cause serious complications?
- What is the treatment for Kawasaki's disease?
- What is the prognosis for children with Kawasaki's disease?
- Is it possible to prevent Kawasaki's disease?
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What is the prognosis for children with Kawasaki's disease?
Kawasaki's disease generally resolves on its own after four to eight weeks, and with early treatment, full recovery is usual.
However, the outcome is not so favorable in every child. Rarely, Kawasaki's disease can cause death from blood clots forming in abnormal areas of widening (aneurysms) of the heart arteries (coronary arteries). Aneurysms of the arteries to the heart (coronary arteries) can occur early or late, even when the children are adults. Those children with larger aneurysms have a worse prognosis because of this risk. Those whose echocardiograms do not demonstrate widening of the coronary arteries throughout life do best. Those with any signs of aneurysm changes require very close monitoring. Children less than 6 months of age and those with high levels of inflammation on blood testing are at highest risk.
The earlier the diagnosis is made and treatment is begun the better the outcome.
Researchers are searching for methods of detecting which children are at risk for the development of aneurysms of the coronary arteries. Further research is under way to investigate a variety of criteria for atypical variants of Kawasaki's disease that do not have classical presentations.
Is it possible to prevent Kawasaki's disease?
Because the cause of Kawasaki's disease has not been determined, there are no measures known that can prevent the disease. Early evaluation and treatment can decrease the chance for long-term problems.
American College of Rheumatology National Meeting, Boston, 2007.
Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.
Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 2000.