The arteries responsible for transporting blood to the heart may become inflamed, leading to bulges on the artery walls, an inflamed heart muscle (myocarditis), or other symptoms. To date, the cause of the disease remains unknown, but the condition has been known to develop in some adults who have had Covid-19. It is believed that Kawasaki disease is the result of an infection or an abnormal response to an infection.

Symptoms of Kawasaki disease

The symptoms can range from fever, rash, inflammation of the mucous membranes at the throat and mouth, inflammation of the whites of the eyes, swollen hands, swollen feet, cough, joint inflammation, and it may lead to an enlargement of the liver and spleen or a range of other symptoms. For adults suffering from this condition, inflammation of the heart occurs, including an abnormally high heart rate, decreased heart function, or heart failure. 

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:

  • Echocardiogram
  • CKG
  • 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
  • Aneurysms
  • 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.

Why choose San Diego Cardiac Center?

Your heart health could not be more important to every aspect of your overall health. Our team of specialists is at the forefront of the latest developments in heart medicine, and through our clinical research, we frequently deliver newer, better therapies and treatments before they become broadly available in the region, at any clinic or hospital. We treat all aspects of cardiac disease and have multiple doctors with subspecialties who provide quality care. We provide a wide array of services at our main office, including consultations, exams, testing, and some heart procedures, with every test and treatment performed with precision, compassion, and professional care.

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