Definition of Kawasaki disease
Kawasaki disease: A syndrome that mainly affects young children, causing fever; reddening of the eyes (conjunctivitis), lips, and mucous membranes of the mouth; ulcerative gum disease (gingivitis); swollen glands in the neck (cervical lymphadenopathy); and a rash that is raised and bright red (maculoerythematous). The rash appears in a 'glove-and-sock' fashion over the skin of the hands and feet. The skin then becomes hard and swollen (edematous), and it peels off. Kawasaki disease affects the blood vessels and is now the main cause of acquired heart disease in children. It is most common in people of Asian descent, and it is more common in males than in females. Its cause
is unknown; current theories include a virus or other infectious agent. Treatment usually involves intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Also known
as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, infantile polyarteritis.
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012
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