What information about Kawasaki disease should be provided to patients and their families/caregivers?

Updated: Jul 29, 2018
  • Author: Tina K Sosa, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Patient and family education on KD should include the following key points:

  • KD causes swelling and damage to the blood vessels in the body.
  • The cause is not known, but it is not believed to spread from person to person.
  • KD is treated with an IV medication called IVIG, which is infused over 8-12 hours. It is also treated with aspirin. If the patient still has fevers 36 hours after IVIG, the patient will likely receive a second dose, and may receive other medications as well.
  • The patient will need pictures of the heart taken to look for swelling of the blood vessels of the heart and other heart abnormalities, which are dangerous complications of KD. With treatment with IVIG, this occurs in only 3-5 out of 100 patients with KD. Patients with KD who do not receive treatment are at much higher risk for heart problems. If heart problems are not present 6-8 weeks after symptoms began, it is very likely that the patient will have a full recovery with no complications.
  • The patient will need to follow up with a primary care doctor and a cardiologist after discharge from the hospital. This is very important so that the patient is appropriately treated and monitored for heart complications.

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