With prompt treatment, most children with Kawasaki disease make a full recovery. However, sometimes complications can develop.
The complications associated with Kawasaki disease are mainly related to the heart. They occur as a result of the inflammatory effect that the condition has on the blood vessels.
Inflammation in the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart (coronary arteries) can cause a section of the artery wall to weaken.
As the blood passes through the weakened part of the artery wall, the blood pressure causes it to bulge outwards like a balloon. This is called an Aneurysm, abdominal aortic .
Some aneurysms heal by themselves over time. However, sometimes a blood clot (thrombosis) can form in a weakened section of the artery.
This can cause either:
In rare cases, the aneurysm can burst (rupture), which could cause severe internal bleeding.
It's also possible for other major arteries to be affected, such as the brachial artery, the main blood vessel in the upper arm,or the femoral artery, the main blood vessel in the upper thigh.
Around 25% of children with Kawasaki disease who don't receive treatment because the condition has been diagnosed incorrectly, for example go on to experience heart-related complications.
The risk of developing complications is reduced for children who receive intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to treat Kawasaki disease.
The heart-related complications associated with Kawasaki disease are serious, and may be fatalin 1% of cases. Children under the age of one are thought to be at higher risk of serious complications.
If your child develops a serious heart abnormality, they may require medication or, in some cases, surgery.
Possible treatments include:
Children with severe complications may have permanent damage to their heart muscles or valves, the flaps that control the flow of blood. They'll have regular follow-up appointments with a heart specialist (cardiologist) so theircondition can be closely monitored.
If your child has had heart complications as a result of Kawasaki disease, they may have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular complications later in life. This includes conditions such as heart attacks and heart disease.
If your child has had complications from Kawasaki disease, it's usually recommended that they have follow-up appointments with a specialist.
The cardiologist will be able to advise you about your child's likelihood of developing further heart-related problems.
Kawasaki disease is a rare condition that mainly affects children under the age of five. It is also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome.
The symptoms of Kawasaki disease usually develop in three phases over a six-week period. A fever of 38C (100.4F) or more is usually the most common symptom.
The cause of Kawasaki disease is not fully understood, but the condition is thought to be caused by an infection. Genetics may also play a role.
There is no single test to diagnose Kawasaki disease. Your GP will confirm the condition by looking at your child's symptoms and carrying out a physical examination.
Kawasaki disease usually has to be treated in hospital as it can cause serious complications. Aspirin and intravenous immunoglobulin are the two main treatments.
With prompt treatment, most children make a full recovery from Kawasaki disease. However, sometimes complications can develop.