A recent case of Kawasaki disease was treated successfully by Dr Ankit Gupta, a Paediatrician at Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road. The 8 month year old child presented with all the symptoms of the disease as well as complication of the heart arteries, a common occurrence of the disease.

With accurate medical diagnosis and treatment, Dr Ankit Gupta along with the supportive care given by paediatric ICU department, saved the child’s life.

Let’s learn more about this disease:

What is Kawasaki disease?

Kawasaki disease is an illness that involves the skin, mouth, and lymph nodes, and most often affects kids under age 5. The cause is unknown but with early diagnosis the disease can fully treated and child can recover within a few days. Untreated, it can lead to serious complications that can affect the heart.

Kawasaki disease is most common among children of Japanese and Korean descent, but can affect all ethnic groups.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Kawasaki disease has symptoms and signs that appear in phases.

The first phase:

Last for up to 2 weeks, usually involves a fever that lasts for at least 5 days.

Other symptoms include:

  • severe redness in the eyes
  • a rash on the stomach, chest, and genitals
  • red, dry, cracked lips
  • swollen tongue with a white coating and big red bumps (called “strawberry tongue”)
  • sore, irritated throat
  • swollen palms of the hands and soles of the feet with a purple-red colour
  • swollen lymph nodes

The second phase, which usually begins within 2 weeks

Child continues with fever, the skin on the hands and feet may begin to peel in large pieces. A child also may have joint pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, or abdominal pain.

What are the complications of the disease?

Doctors can manage the symptoms of Kawasaki disease if it’s caught early. Most kids will feel better within 2 days of starting treatment.

If Kawasaki disease is treated within 10 days of the start of symptoms, heart disease can be prevented.

Untreated cases can lead to more serious complications, such as vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels. This can be particularly dangerous because it can affect the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.

Besides the coronary arteries, the heart muscle, lining, valves, and the outer membrane around the heart can become inflamed. Arrhythmias (changes in the normal pattern of the heartbeat) or abnormal functioning of some heart valves also can occur.

What is the treatment and prognosis?

Treatment should start as soon as possible, ideally within 10 days of when the fever begins. Usually, a child is treated with intravenous (IV) doses of gamma globulin (purified antibodies), an ingredient of blood that helps the body fight infection.

Most children with Kawasaki disease start to get much better after a single treatment with gamma globulin, though sometimes more doses are needed.

A child also might be given a high dose of aspirin to lower the risk of heart problems. Most kids recover completely, but those who develop heart problems after Kawasaki disease might need more testing and treatments with a cardiologist.

To know about the disease, or if the child is presenting with above signs and symptom please visit our paediatric department at Wockhardt hospital for further management.