Kawasaki disease is an acute, self-limited vasculitis of childhood and has become the leading cause of acquired pediatric heart disease in the USA. Prompt treatment is essential in reducing cardiac-related morbidity and mortality. The underlying etiology remains unknown. The disease itself may be the characteristic manifestation of a common pathway of immune-mediated vascular inflammation in susceptible hosts. The characteristic clinical features of fever for at least 5 days with bilateral nonpurulent conjunctivitis, rash, changes in lips and oral cavity, changes in peripheral extremities, and cervical lymphadenopathy remain the mainstay of diagnosis. Supplementary laboratory criteria can aid in the diagnosis, particularly in cases of incomplete clinical presentation. Diagnosis of Kawasaki disease can be challenging as the clinical presentation can be mistaken for a variety of other pediatric illnesses. Standard of care consists of intravenous immune globulin and aspirin. Corticosteroids, infliximab, and cyclosporine A have been used as adjunct therapy for Kawasaki disease refractory to initial treatment. There is ongoing research into the use of these agents in the initial therapy of Kawasaki disease.
- Kawasaki disease