What is Kawasaki Disease?

In children, Kawasaki disease (KD) causes swelling (inflammation) in the walls of blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body. Kawasaki disease usually causes inflammation of the coronary arteries, which carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It was initially known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome because it caused swelling in glands (lymph nodes) and mucous membranes within the mouth, nose, eyes, and throat.

Children with this disease may have a high fever, swollen hands and feet, peeling skin, and red eyes and mouth. However, KD is usually treatable, and most children recover without significant complications if they get treatment within ten days after getting the disease.


Kawasaki disease develops quickly, and symptoms occur in stages. The following are symptoms of the first stage of Kawasaki disease:

In the second stage , the symptoms include

When To See A Doctor?

Contact your child's doctor if the fever lasts more than three days. Treating Kawasaki illness within ten days of its onset may reduce the risk of long-term damage to the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle.

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Causes : The cause is unknown, but some factors make it more likely to occur. Kawasaki Disease is not an infection; it often develops during or after a mild viral or bacterial infection. It is more common among people who have had it before and have family members who have previously had it. Other factors include
  • Inflammation : Kawasaki disease is associated with diffuse inflammation throughout the body that is believed to occur due to the high reactivity of the immune system. It has been suggested that the inflammatory reaction could be an autoimmune response or an overreaction of the body's immune system to a trigger, such as an infection. The inflammation produces fever, redness, swelling, and other symptoms.
  • Vasculitis : Vasculitis : Many symptoms are attributed to vasculitis, which is inflammation of the blood vessels. With Kawasaki Disease, the rash is extensive and tends to target the medium-sized blood vessels of the body. And vasculitis can affect blood vessels in the heart, potentially leading to life-threatening blood clots and the possibility of long-term heart disease. Another rare vascular complication of Kawasaki Disease is the development of an aneurysm, which is an outpouching and weakening of a blood vessel.

Risk Factors

The following conditions may be risk factors for Kawasaki disease:

  • Age : It is more likely to occur between the ages of one and five years.
  • Gender : Boys are more prone to develop it than girls.
  • Genetics : If both parents have Kawasaki disease, their children may be predisposed to it.


In developed countries, Kawasaki illness is children's leading cause of acquired heart disease. However, without treatment, children face long-term consequences. Complications of the heart include

  • Inflammation of blood vessels. 
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Heart valve problems

Any of these conditions might cause heart impairment. Inflammation of the coronary arteries can cause the arterial wall to weaken and protrude (aneurysm). Aneurysms increase the chance of blood clots, resulting in a heart attack or life-threatening internal bleeding.


There is no way to prevent Kawasaki Disease because it is not infectious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Diagnosis and Treatment


There is no single test for Kawasaki disease. A doctor would examine the child's symptoms and rule out conditions with similar symptoms, such as:

  • Scarlet fever 
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • measles
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • idiopathic juvenile arthritis
  • juvenile mercury poisoning,
  • medical reaction

A pediatrician might order additional tests to check how the disease has affected the heart. These may include

  • Echocardiography : Echocardiography is a painless procedure that creates images of the heart and its arteries using sound waves. This test may need to be repeated to see whether Kawasaki's illness has impacted the heart over time.
  • Blood test : To rule out other conditions, blood tests may be conducted. In KD, there may be an increase in white blood cells, a decrease in red blood cells, and inflammation.
  • Chest X-ray : Chest X-ray : A chest X-ray creates black-and-white images of the heart and lungs. A doctor may order this test for heart failure and inflammation signs.
  • Electrocardiogram : Electrocardiogram : An electrocardiogram, or ECG, records the heart's electrical activity. Irregularities in the ECG may indicate that KD has affected the heart.
    Kawasaki disease should be considered in any newborn or kid with a fever lasting more than five days. This is especially true if they have other typical illness signs, such as peeling skin.


Children with KD should start treatment as soon as possible to avoid heart problems.

Within ten days of the fever, an infusion of antibodies (intravenous immunoglobulin) is given over 12 hours. To prevent the formation of blood clots, the kid may need to continue taking lower doses of aspirin for six to eight weeks after the fever has subsided.

One study also found that supplementing with prednisolone considerably lowered the risk of heart damage. This, however, has yet to be tested in other groups.

Some children may require more time in treatment to avoid a clogged artery or a heart attack. In these cases, medicines are prescribed until regular echocardiography is performed. Coronary artery anomalies may take six to eight weeks to reverse.

Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover, we have the best team of medical experts who treat Kawasaki Disease. We have round-the-clock doctors, laboratory, ICU, radiology, and emergency services to ensure patients receive the best possible care on time. The department is staffed by renowned healthcare professionals and compassionate, well-trained paramedical staff to provide satisfactory treatment to our patients.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Kawasaki disease have long-term effects?

However, long-term effects of Kawasaki disease can include heart valve issues, abnormal heartbeat rhythm, inflammation of the heart muscle, and aneurysms.

2. What is another name for Kawasaki disease?

Another name for Kawasaki disease is mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome.

3. What age group does Kawasaki disease affect?

Kawasaki disease (KD), also known as Kawasaki syndrome, is an acute febrile illness of unknown etiology that primarily affects children younger than 5.

4. How long does a fever last with Kawasaki disease?

A fever lasting at least five days is a common sign of the condition. The fever might last up to two weeks.

5. Is Kawasaki disease lifelong?

Most patients with KD appear to have a benign prognosis, but some patients with coronary artery aneurysms are at risk of ischemic episodes and must be treated for the rest of their lives.

6. Is Kawasaki disease treated with antibiotics?

Because of the prolonged fever and high inflammatory markers, KD patients are often offered antibiotics even before a diagnosis is made.

7. Can Kawasaki cause heart failure?

The heart-related complications associated with Kawasaki disease are severe and may be fatal in 2 to 3% of untreated cases.

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