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Kawasaki Disease

  • Kawasaki Disease is a vasculitis which affects large, medium, and small-sized arteries although fatalities are solely due to consequences of coronary artery inflammation.
  • The vast majority of patients are infants and children under 5yo.
  • The morphology of Kawasaki Disease is similar to that of polyarteritis nodosa with a necrotizing inflammation of the entire vascular wall. Although the inflammation itself is self-limited, aneurysmal dilation, thrombosis, and proliferation of the tunica intima often ensue during the healing stage.
Clinical Consequences
  • Overview
    • Kawasaki Disease is characterized by an acute, self-limited febrile illness of infants and children which is benign on its own but can yield serious coronary complications during its healing phase.
  • Acute Febrile Illness
    • Erythema of the lips, palms, and conjunctiva
    • Edema of oral mucosa
    • Skin rash of fingertips which often undergoes desquamation
    • Non-supperative cervical lymphadenopathy
  • Complications
    • The most feared complication of Kawasaki Disease is myocardial infarction. This may occur due to the thrombosis or intimal proliferation of coronary arteries which can lead to their complete or near-complete occlusion.