Kawasaki disease: State of the art

Congenit Heart Dis. 2017 Sep;12(5):633-635. doi: 10.1111/chd.12498. Epub 2017 Jun 5.


Kawasaki disease is an acute febrile arteritis of childhood that can result in coronary artery aneurysms if untreated in the first 10 and ideally 7 days of illness. Kawasaki disease begins as a necrotizing arteritis with neutrophilic infiltrate, followed by subacute/chronic changes and luminal myofibroblastic proliferation that can cause coronary artery stenosis. Manifestations include the presence of ≥5 days of fever, together with clinical criteria of extremity changes, rash, conjunctivitis, oral changes, and unilateral cervical lymphadenopathy. Echocardiography should be performed at the time of diagnosis, then 1-2 weeks and 4-6 weeks later, with more frequent studies in individuals with coronary artery dilation or persistent fever. Coronary artery dimensions are characterized both as z-scores and absolute measurements, and coronary architecture evolves over time in children who have aneurysms in the first weeks of illness. Systematic follow-up and therapies are tailored to the degree of coronary disease and to coronary ischemia.

Keywords: Kawasaki disease; arteritis; coronary aneurysm; myocardial ischemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Coronary Aneurysm* / diagnosis
  • Coronary Aneurysm* / epidemiology
  • Coronary Aneurysm* / etiology
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Echocardiography
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / complications*