Kawasaki disease is an acute, multisystem inflammatory condition that affects blood vessels, most commonly in children. In some rare cases, adults develop the condition. It presents with a range of symptoms, including high fever, inflammation of the mouth and throat, a skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes.
Diagnosis and treatment for adult Kawasaki disease
The first step in planning treatment is diagnosing the condition, evaluating the extent of the inflammation, and locating the areas of the heart that are affected. The tests may include:
- Stress testing
- Coronary angiography
The disease is typically treated with high-dose intravenous immune globulin, or IGIV. This fluid is extracted from the blood, contains antibodies, and can reduce the damage to the heart and arteries. If the heart and arteries have been damaged during the course of the disease, the extent of the damage must be evaluated and an effective treatment performed. In some very severe cases, coronary bypass surgery is advised, or in some cases, heart transplant surgery.
The types of heart damage that can result from adult Kawasaki disease include:
- Coronary artery inflammation
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Internal bleeding
Without question, treating the condition as early as possible is crucial to the health and long-term survival of the patient. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with adult Kawasaki disease, our team of heart specialists at San Diego Cardiac Center can perform a range of advanced diagnostic tests to identify any heart problems and develop a treatment plan.