Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease (KD), also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome and Kawasaki syndrome, is an acute early childhood febrile disease that is characterized by medium-sized arterial vasculitis. Given its predilection for the coronary arteries, there is potential for coronary artery aneurysms (CAAs) to develop and therefore sudden death. CAAs develop in approximately 25 percent of untreated cases; appropriate treatment decreases this risk to 3-5 percent. Echocardiography is the study of choice to evaluate for CAAs. KD is the leading cause of acquired cardiac disease in developing countries. In most cases , the children will recover without any serious problems within a few days of treatment. Recurrences are rare. KD can cause serious heart disease if left untreated. The precise cause of Kawasaki disease remains unknown. Researchers speculate KD can be caused by a mixture of genetics and environmental factors. This may be because KD occurs during specific seasons and tends to affect asian descent children.

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