Kawasaki disease is sudden inflammation of the blood vessels in young children.
This problem can lead to coronary artery disease. Care is needed right away. Early treatment can improve outcomes.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
The exact cause is not known. It is thought to be triggered infection. The disease does not spread from person to person.
This problem is more common in children who are Asian and Black. It is also more common in children who are younger than 5 years of age.
Outbreaks of the disease are more common in the winter and spring months.
A child may have these problems during the first two weeks of the disease:
Later problems may be:
There is no test to diagnose Kawasaki disease. The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Blood and urine tests may be done to rule out other problems.
Images may be taken of your child's heart. This can be done with an echocardiogram.
The electrical activity of your child's heart may be measured. This can be done with an electrocardiogram (EKG).
Kawasaki disease will go away on its own. Treatment can help limit damage. Medicine will be given, such as:
Children with severe heart complications will need to have them treated as well.
There is no known way to prevent this health problem.
American Heart Association
Kawasaki Disease Foundation
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Kawasaki disease. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiovascularConditionsofChildhood/Kawasaki-Disease_UCM_308777_Article.jsp. Accessed March 8, 2021.
Kawasaki disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/kawasaki-disease. Accessed March 8, 2021.
Kawasaki disease. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/heart/kawasaki.html. Accessed March 8, 2021.
Kawasaki disease in children. Cincinnati Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/k/kawasaki. Accessed March 8, 2021.
McCrindle BW, Rowley AH, et al. Diagnosis, Treatment, and Long-Term Management of Kawasaki Disease: A Scientific Statement for Health Professionals From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017 Apr 25;135(17):e927-e999.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD Last Updated: 3/8/2021