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Infectious Disease

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Kawasaki Disease Clinic

Infectious disease physicians at CHAM collaborate with pediatric cardiology specialists to diagnose and manage Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki disease is an illness characterized by high fever, red eyes, cracked lips, swollen glands, a rash, and swelling or redness of the palms and soles. It was originally described in Japan among young children by a pediatrician, Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki, but the cause of this illness is still not known. Most children will recover without any intervention or treatment, but ~1:5 may develop aneurysms (ballooning dilatation) of blood vessels, most commonly in the coronary arteries.  In the 1980s, clinical researchers discovered that treatment of children with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a blood product, within the first 2 weeks of the onset of fever significantly reduced the incidence of coronary artery aneurysms.  Today IVIG and aspirin are the standard of care for children with Kawasaki.  New studies are exploring other drugs that may help in the small number of patients who do not respond to IVIG or could even provide greater protection than IVIG against aneurysms.  Our team at CHAM is participating in these studies.