Kawasaki disease is a disease that involves the blood vessels of the body. It develops more commonly in children and teens. It affects children who are younger than 5 years. It rarely affects adults. Its cases are more seen in males than in females. Its causes are not clearly understood. Its symptoms include high fever, red eyes, dry cough, and many more It is not a serious disease and children improve well with treatment in 10 -14 days. It is treated with medicines and the affected person is monitored regularly in every one to two years by echocardiogram to check for heart ailments.

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Do Adults Get Kawasaki Disease & It’s Diagnosis

Kawasaki disease is a disease of children. Kawasaki disease rarely develops in adults. It is reported in a few adults with an abnormal heartbeat and high blood pressure. It can develop in any sex, male or female. The disease is unusual in adults. It can be an incomplete or complete type. In research studies, it is found that the average age at which adults develop Kawasaki disease are 27-30 years. Maximum cases were incomplete with no significant impact on the heart. (1)

Causes Of Kawasaki Disease In Adults

The causes of Kawasaki disease are not clearly understood. The causes can be-

  • Infectious agents like virus, bacteria, rickettsia, dust mite antigens, etc
  • Genetic mutations
  • Environmental factors such as certain chemicals, toxins, etc.
  • Races of Asian origin, Korean or Japanese descent
  • Lifestyle factors such as obesity, high cholesterol, smoking, etc

Symptoms In Adults

Adult represent symptoms of –

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Fever remains for 5 days and its symptoms come in early and late stages as seen in children. The classic symptom of this disease is peeling of the skin. It also develops in the adults who had incomplete KD in their childhood.

Kawasaki Disease Complications

Research further states that adults with kawasaki disease may develop cervical adenopathy, hepatitis and arthralgia more frequently than children. Adults rarely develop meningitis and aneurysms in coronary arteries as compared to children.

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Kawasaki Disease Diagnosis

The diagnosis of kawasaki disease is made on the basis of complete medical history, physical examination and family history. It is diagnosed by following tests-

Echocardiograph- it is used to get the images of the arteries and other structures of the heart. It is performed every one to two year to observe the impact of the disease on the heart.

Blood Tests- physicians recommend a blood test to rule out other diseases. In KD, there is the elevation of white blood cells count and lowering of red blood cell count.

Chest X-Ray- chest X-rays provide a black and white image of the heart and lungs. It can be helpful to find out features of heart failure and inflammation.

Electrocardiogram- an electrocardiogram is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. In KD, it shows irregular heartbeats.

Kawasaki disease is also known as Kawasaki syndrome or mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome is a disease that affects children. It affects children under the age of 5 years. It was first described by Tomisaku Kawasaki in the year 1967. This disease existed for a long time but it was noticed by Kawasaki for the first time. It usually develops in children of age under 5 years. However, it can affect children and teenagers belonging to any race or ethnic background. It is most common in children who belong to Korean and Japanese descent.

Conclusion

Kawasaki disease is an inflammatory disease of blood vessels that develop mostly in children. It is rarely seen in adults. It is usually an incomplete type of Kawasaki disease that affects adults. Its symptoms include high fever, arthralgia, peeling of skin, weight loss and others mentioned above.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC427377/

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: April 12, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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