Kawasaki Disease

August 28, 20130 Comments

Kawasaki disease is a rare condition that causes inflammation of artery present in the body. It can affect any artery like coronary artery that supplies blood to the heart or the artery that carries blood from the kidneys. This disease can affect the lymph nodes of the system and the soft mucous membranes of the oral cavity and throat. Some of the symptoms of Kawasaki disease can be alarming but this disease can be cured completely.

Kawasaki Disease Symptoms

The signs of Kawasaki disease occur in phases. In the first phase some of the common symptoms are high fever, skin rash on the groin and other body parts, reddish eyes, swollen skin on the palms and feet, swollen lymph nodes and general irritability.

During the second phase, the child may show signs of joint pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and peeling of skin in many parts of the body. These symptoms can look very serious particularly the peeling of skin from the hands fingers and toes. The skin will come off in large sheets thus making one look ugly. In the final and third phase of this disease, all the symptoms will resolve on its own without wanting any treatment. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the person/child to regain the lost energy is regained.

Causes :

Exact cause of Kawasaki disease is not known. Many experts believe it to be of infectious disease caused by bacteria or virus. It is also believed to be of genetic origin but so far no theory has been proved.

Risk Factor :

Children below 5 years old and more particularly boys are more prone to develop this rare disease than girls. People belonging to Japanese, Korean and Asian community have increased chance for getting this disease. Complications of this disease include heart valve problems, myocarditis, and abnormal heart rhythm and vasculitis. Inflammation of the coronary arteries can cause life threatening problem to your child causing heart attack or internal bleeding.

Tests :

No lab tests are available for diagnosing Kawasaki disease. Your doctor should look for the symptoms mentioned above. In addition he would order for testing for heart function like echocardiogram. Some of the symptoms are the same for other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, toxic shock, measles and spotted fever. He may order for blood culture, urine analysis and electrocardiogram tests.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Kawasaki Disease :

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Kawasaki Disease Treatment

Once the diagnosis is complete, the treatment for Kawasaki disease should be started without any delay. The disease can be cured quickly if it is diagnosed early. Your doctor would infuse gamma globulin intravenously for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. He would put the child on high dosage of aspirin for reducing joint inflammation and for decreasing fever symptoms. Most of the children with this disease have to be hospitalized for monitoring the developments once the treatment is started.

The child will be on aspirin for another 6-7 weeks to prevent blood clotting and to manage inflammation. After the temperature goes down, the dosage of aspirin will be reduced. After the child is discharged from the hospital, she/he has to be monitored for heart checkup in close intervals. Aneurysm or coronary artery problem can be treated with angioplasty by opening the artery involved widely to facilitate blood flow to the heart. He may be given anticoagulant drugs like Plavix, Coumadin to prevent clotting of blood.

For some children stent placement surgery is done by implanting a device in the artery to clear the blockage. In other cases, artery bypass surgery is done for routing the blood flow through grafting process. For managing dryness of skin, you can use skin moisturizing lotion to keep the fingers and other affected body parts moist.

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