Kawasaki Disease (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
In this Article
- 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?
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
What is the difference between Kawasaki's disease and Kawasaki's syndrome?
They are the same. Kawasaki's disease is also referred to as Kawasaki's syndrome. It was first described in the late 1960s in Japan by the renowned pediatrician Tomisaku Kawasaki.
Is Kawasaki's disease contagious?
No. Kawasaki's disease is not believed to be a contagious illness.
How can Kawasaki's disease cause serious complications?
Children with Kawasaki's disease can develop inflammation of the arteries of various parts of the body. This inflammation of the arteries is called vasculitis. Arteries that can be affected include the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle (the coronary arteries). Vasculitis can cause weakening of the blood vessels and lead to areas of vessel widening (aneurysms). The weakening occurs because of destruction of the elastic tissue in the walls of the blood vessels. Coronary aneurysms occur because of such injury to the blood vessels in Kawasaki's disease.
Because of the potential for heart injury and coronary aneurysms, special tests are performed to examine the heart. Children are typically evaluated with an electrocardiogram (EKG) and an ultrasound test of the heart (echocardiogram). Monitoring for this problem is crucial throughout life as it can develop as a late aftereffect of Kawasaki's disease. Other arteries that can become inflamed include the arteries of the lungs, neck, and abdomen. These effects can lead to breathing problems, headaches, and abdominal pain, respectively. Blood tests to measure the degree of inflammation (such as C-reactive protein, or CRP, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or ESR) are often used to monitor the activity of the disease.
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