, Volume 72, Issue 8, pp 1029-1038
Date: 10 Dec 2012

Epidemiology and Management of Kawasaki Disease

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Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute systemic vasculitis affecting young children and is rising in incidence worldwide. It is most common in children <5 years of age, males and those of Asian ethnicity. It is an important cause of acquired heart disease in children. Standard treatment with high-dose aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid; ASA) and intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) has been shown to decrease the rate of coronary artery aneurysm development. Anti-coagulation has an important place in the management of KD, although guidance based on evidence is lacking. Treatment of refractory KD is an area under intense study and may include IVIG, corticosteroids and/or tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors among immunosuppressive agents. Acute complications of KD include myocarditis/KD shock syndrome and macrophage activation syndrome, which necessitate appropriate awareness in order to initiate proper management.