What is Kawasaki disease?
Kawasaki disease is a disease in young children with fever and rash, which can affect the skin, mouth, eyes and the heart. It was originally described from Japan, but is now known to occur in all parts of the world. The most serious involvement is that of the blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to the heart known as coronary arteries. Localized enlargement of the coronary arteries known as coronary aneurysms are the hallmark of Kawasaki disease. These are an important cause of mortality in Kawasaki disease as as clots can form in these vessels, causing obstruction of blood flow. Sudden obstruction of blood flow in the coronary arteries can lead to damage of heart muscle known as heart attack or myocardial infarction. Coronary aneurysm formation can be prevented to some extend by early initiation of treatment with immunoglobulin administered through the veins (IVIG).