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 is it diagnosed?
- What is mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome?
- What are the usual symptoms and signs of Kawasaki's disease?
- What are the less common findings?
- What is the difference between Kawasaki's disease and Kawasaki's syndrome?
- What causes Kawasaki's disease?
- Who develops Kawasaki's disease?
- 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?
- Can Kawasaki's disease be prevented?
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
What is the treatment for Kawasaki's disease?
Children affected by Kawasaki's disease are hospitalized. Kawasaki's disease is treated with high doses of aspirin (salicylic acid) to reduce inflammation and to mildly thin the blood to prevent blood clot formation. Also used in treatment is gammaglobulin administered through the vein (intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG), together with fluids. This treatment has been shown to decrease the chance of developing aneurysms in the coronary arteries. Sometimes cortisone medications are given. Persisting joint pains are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve).
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Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) has been reported as effective in patients who were not responding to aspirin and gammaglobulin. Plasmapheresis is a procedure whereby the patient's plasma is removed from the blood and replaced with protein-containing fluids. By taking out portions of the patient's plasma, the procedure also removes antibodies and proteins that are felt to be part of the immune reaction that is causing the inflammation of the disease. Kawasaki's disease that is not responding to the traditional aspirin and gammaglobulin treatments can be deadly. Medications that block the effects of TNF (tumor necrosis factor), one of the messenger molecules in the inflammatory response, are being studied for use in these situations. Examples of TNF-blocking drugs are infliximab (Remicade) and etanercept (Enbrel). Further research is needed to design treatment programs for those who are failing conventional treatments. Pentoxifylline (Trental) is also being studied as a possible treatment for Kawasaki's disease.
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