Kawasaki disease is named after a Japanese doctor, Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki, who, in 1967, first discovered the condition in children under age 5. These children usually experience a high fever, inflammation of the hands and feet, redness in the eyes, a red skin rash, a dry redness in the mouth and bumps on the tongue which resemble the skin of a strawberry. If not treated in time, the disorder can result in coronary artery disease with potentially life-threatening consequences.
There are currently no known causes of Kawasaki disease. The disease is most common among Asian children under the age of five, especially infants from Northeast Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. There is still no evidence to confirm that the disorder is hereditary.
Kawasaki’s disease should be suspected if a child is suffering from a fever higher than 38°C for more than five consecutive days, in conjunction with at least four out of the five following symptoms:
Nonetheless, doctors may decide to carry out the following additional diagnostics to identify the effects of Kawasaki disease on the patient’s heart:
Although there is no prevention for Kawasaki disease, successful treatment is possible when carried out within 10 days of the symptoms first being displayed. Early treatment reduces complications that could arise in the coronary artery. The most widely accepted form of medication is immunoglobulin, which is intravenously administered to prevent inflammation. This drug may be administered repeatedly if symptoms do not improve within 48-72 hours. Aspirin can also be used to help relieve pain, reduce fever and prevent thrombosis.
Most infant patients who receive timely and appropriate forms of treatment from specialist medical professionals are able to make a full recovery. However, this also depends on correct post-treatment care and strict adherence to all courses of prescribed medication.
The Second Class Honors M.D., Faculty of Medicine,Srinakharinwirot University, 2002. Faculty of Medicine Srinakarinwirot University