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What Is Kawasaki Disease?

Kawasaki disease is a relatively rare but serious condition that primarily affects children under the age of five. It is characterized by inflammation in the walls of the medium-sized arteries throughout the body, including the coronary arteries. This blog post will delve into the details of Kawasaki disease, including its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Understanding this condition is crucial for parents, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to recognize and address it effectively. Let’s explore the important aspects of Kawasaki disease and gain insight into how it can be managed.

Understanding Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease, also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, is a rare but serious condition that primarily affects children under the age of 5. Here are some key points to understand about Kawasaki disease:

  • Symptoms: The disease is characterized by fever, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, redness in the eyes, and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Cause: The exact cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown, but it is believed to be related to an abnormal immune response.
  • Complications: If not treated promptly, Kawasaki disease can lead to serious complications such as coronary artery abnormalities.
  • Diagnosis: Diagnosis is based on a combination of physical signs and symptoms, as well as laboratory tests.
  • Treatment: Treatment often involves intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and aspirin to reduce inflammation and prevent complications.

Understanding the symptoms, cause, complications, diagnosis, and treatment of Kawasaki disease is crucial for prompt identification and management of this condition in children.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When diagnosing Kawasaki disease, healthcare providers consider various factors such as the child’s symptoms, physical examination, and medical history. Laboratory tests, including blood tests and urine tests, help in identifying the presence of inflammation and other possible indicators of the disease.


  • Physical Examination: Absence of diagnostic tests makes physical examination crucial.
  • Laboratory Tests: Assessing for elevated levels of inflammation markers in the blood.
  • Echocardiogram: To check for any abnormalities in the heart.

Once diagnosed, prompt treatment is essential to prevent potential complications. The standard treatment includes administering intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and aspirin to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of coronary artery abnormalities.


  • Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG): A high-dose infusion to reduce the risk of coronary artery complications.
  • Aspirin: Administered in low doses to decrease inflammation and prevent blood clotting.

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are vital in minimizing the impact of Kawasaki disease and reducing the risk of long-term heart problems.