Kawasaki syndrome: description, symptoms, treatment
Mucus-cutaneous lymph node syndrome, knownas Kawasaki syndrome, is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammatory processes in the blood vessels throughout the body. The disease affects children under 5 years, although very rarely can be observed in adolescence. Kawasaki syndrome affects many systems of organs, but mainly those whose functioning is associated with blood vessels, skin, mucous membranes and lymph nodes. The greatest risk is heart damage, in which an aneurysm of the coronary artery with a fatal outcome occurs. Mortality in patients not receiving treatment reaches 1%, while the percentage of those on treatment does not exceed 0.01%.
On the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth and skinthere are characteristic reddening, according to which the doctor can diagnose the Kawasaki syndrome (photo # 1). Lips crack and dry. Small tongues ("strawberry tongue") may appear on the tongue. Often there are swelling on the hands and feet, possibly an increase in the cervical lymph nodes. Depending on the phase of the disease, fever can range from moderate (38 ° C) to high (above 40 ° C). In children who do not receive treatment, the febrile period lasts for an average of 10 days, but it can also last from 5 to 25 days. Only a medical professional who prescribes a blood test and excludes variants of other similar diseases can accurately determine Kawasaki's disease. The syndrome is also diagnosed by urinalysis, electrocardiograms and echocardiography.
The disease was first described by Japanese T. Kawasaki in 1967, but the exact cause of the disease is still unknown. A possible condition for the development of the disease, as in the case of all autoimmune diseases, is a combination of genetic and external factors presumably involving an infection. The theory of hereditary predisposition explains the fact that the disease most often occurs in the Japanese. At the moment there are no data on the possibility of preventing Kawasaki syndrome.
Children with this disease are hospitalized andremain under the supervision of a doctor with experience of working with the disease. In some cases, Kawasaki syndrome is treated by several specialists: a pediatric cardiologist, a rheumatologist and an infectious disease specialist. The immediate requirement is to immediately start treatment immediately after diagnosis, which can prevent possible damage to the coronary arteries. Large doses of immunoglobulin, administered intravenously, stop the inflammatory processes, so starting treatment in the first 10 days, it is possible to prevent serious damage to blood vessels. Aspirin is prescribed for the entire period during which the fever keeps, but can be reversed if symptoms such as abdominal pain, ringing in the ears and gastric bleeding occur. If the heart is affected, you may need another treatment, including surgical intervention.