Kawasaki Disease: an Update

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2020 Sep 13;22(10):75. doi: 10.1007/s11926-020-00941-4.


Purpose of review: Provide the most recent updates on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment advances in Kawasaki disease.

Recent findings: Treatment advances in complex, IVIG-refractory cases of Kawasaki disease. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a newly reported inflammatory condition with Kawasaki-like features and an association with the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19). Kawasaki disease (KD) is a rare systemic inflammatory disease that predominately affects children less than 5 years of age. Pathogenesis of KD remains unknown; the leading theory is that an unknown stimulus triggers an immune-mediated inflammatory cascade in a genetically susceptible child. Classic KD is a clinical diagnosis based on set criteria and excluding other similar clinical entities. Patients who do not fulfill complete diagnostic criteria for KD are often referred to as atypical (or incomplete) KD. The most feared complication of KD is coronary artery abnormality development, and patients with atypical KD are also at risk. Administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and aspirin has greatly reduced the incidence of coronary lesions in affected children. Several other immune-modulating therapies have recently been utilized in complex or refractory cases.

Keywords: Kawasaki diagnosis; Kawasaki differential; Kawasaki disease; Kawasaki review; Kawasaki treatment; Kawasaki workup; Kawasaki-like disease; Multi system inflammatory syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / complications*
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / therapy
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Immunologic Factors