How is Kawasaki disease treated?
Once diagnosed, patients are treated in the hospital. The stay is usually a few days to a few weeks. The standard initial treatment is intravenous immunoglobulin and aspirin. IVIG, when given early in the illness, can reduce the risk of coronary artery problems. Aspirin reduces fever, joint swelling, pain and the rash. It can also help prevent blood clots from forming.
How can it hurt heart health?
Without prompt treatment, Kawasaki disease can damage the coronary arteries and the heart muscle itself in as many as 1 in 4 children.
Over the first few weeks, a weakening of a coronary artery can result in enlargement of the vessel wall (an aneurysm). Infants younger than 1 are at the highest risk of developing coronary artery aneurysms.
- Download our patient fact sheet: What is Kawasaki Disease? (PDF)