Kawasaki disease symptoms & causes in children

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Contact the Kawasaki Disease Program

It’s natural for you to be concerned right now about your child’s health—Kawasaki disease can be alarming for you and uncomfortable for your child. However, most children recover without significant heart issues. And you can be assured that at Boston Children's Hospital, your child is in expert hands.

What is Kawasaki disease?

First described by T. Kawasaki, MD, in Japan in 1967, Kawasaki disease is the most common form of acquired (rather than congenital) heart disease in the United States and Japan. The disease is most common in children under age 5 years (75 percent), although children of any age can develop it. Boys are 1.5 times as likely as girls to develop the disease.

Kawasaki disease is an acute systemic illness characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis). It begins with the onset of a high fever, along with other signs and symptoms that develop over the course of approximately one to two weeks. The total duration of illness (before the child is completely back to normal) is six to eight weeks.

The inflammation from Kawasaki disease affects the blood vessels of many tissues in the body—with symptoms that include changes in the hands, feet, whites of the eyes, mouth, lips, throat, lymph nodes and skin. Affected children have a high fever for at least four days before diagnosis.

If recognized and treated early, your child can begin to feel better in a few days, with a low likelihood of long-term heart issues. In rare cases (about 4 percent) even with treatment, Kawasaki disease can result in a coronary artery aneurysm. There’s no definitive test for the disease, and its symptoms often resemble those of other childhood diseases.

What are the signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease?

The signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease often resemble other conditions or medical problems, so always consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis. Your child’s doctor will be looking for typical signs and symptoms—starting with a persistent high fever (101 degrees F to 104 degrees F) for at least four days, along with four out of five of the following:

  • changes in extremities
    • red, swollen palms of hands and soles of feet
    • peeling skin around the fingertips, hands or feet (occurs later in the illness)
  • non-specific rash on the body, often accentuated in the groin area
  • bloodshot eyes (no discharge)
  • redness in the lips, mouth and tongue
    • dry, red, cracked lips
    • inflamed, red mouth
    • swollen, red tongue (“strawberry tongue”)
  • swollen lymph node(s) in the neck (more than 1.5 cm), usually on one side

Photos 1 and 2 from Circulation. 2001;103:335. © 2001 American Heart Association, Inc. Used with permission.

It is possible to have Kawasaki disease without showing all of these signs. Such cases are called “incomplete” (or atypical) Kawasaki disease. Infants younger than 6 months are most likely to have incomplete Kawasaki disease, and infants have the highest risk for developing coronary artery damage.

Other symptoms that may develop include:

  • arthritis-like symptoms (joint pain and swelling of the joints)
  • extreme irritability
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • enlarged liver or gallbladder
  • cough and respiratory symptoms

Who’s affected by Kawasaki disease?

Kawasaki disease occurs more often in Japan than in any other country. Children of Asian or Asian-American heritage have a higher risk of Kawasaki disease regardless of where they live—although Kawasaki disease can occur in any racial or ethnic group.

The majority (75 percent) of children who develop Kawasaki disease are age 5 years or younger, although children of any age can get the disease. The average age of a child with the illness is approximately 2 years, and boys are about 1.5 times as likely to develop Kawasaki disease as girls.

Researchers continue to explore the genetic factors that put some children at higher risk for Kawasaki disease, since:

  • Children of Japanese origin, no matter where in the world they live, are more likely to get Kawasaki disease.
  • Brothers and sisters of children with Kawasaki disease are slightly more likely than other neighborhood children to develop the illness at a later time.
  • Kawasaki disease has been reported in the children of parents who themselves had been affected in childhood.

Who should be treated for Kawasaki disease?

Any child with Kawasaki disease in the acute phase should receive treatment—ideally within the first seven to 10 days of the illness. Children in whom the diagnosis of Kawasaki disease is made after the tenth day of illness should be treated if they still have fever, or if they have coronary aneurysms together with ongoing laboratory tests suggesting inflammation.

Why do you treat Kawasaki disease?

Approximately 20 percent of untreated children with Kawasaki disease develop abnormalities in their coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen), resulting in those vessels’ enlargement/aneurysm formation (dilation of the blood vessel). The goal of treatment in Kawasaki disease is to decrease the risk of the child developing coronary enlargement/aneurysm(s).

In most cases, treatment reduces the duration of fever, as well as the risk of developing coronary abnormalities. Rarely (in less than 5 percent of cases), even with treatment, Kawasaki disease can weaken the wall of one or more of the coronary arteries, resulting in an aneurysm.

What are the phases of Kawasaki disease?

There are three phases of Kawasaki disease:

  • acute phase:The acute phase comes on rapidly with the abrupt onset of a high fever that lasts for at least four days. In this phase, treatment with IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) is the standard of care, given in the hospital as soon as a diagnosis is made. Besides fever, other signs and symptoms that may come and go during your child’s illness include:
    • swelling or redness of the hands and feet
    • rash
    • bloodshot eyes
    • red, cracked lips, “strawberry tongue”
    • enlarged lymph node in the neck
    • irritability
  • subacute phase: During the subacute phase (between acute and chronic), your child’s fever will go down, but the disease will continue to affect other systems. Lingering symptoms and laboratory findings may include:
    • arthritis in his small or large joints
    • continued irritability
    • peeling skin on hands and feet
    • elevated platelet counts
    • anemia
  • convalescent phase: In the convalescent phase (the gradual return to health and strength), most findings on your child’s physical exam will have returned to normal, but his blood work will show resolving inflammation.

Irritability is a feature of Kawasaki disease throughout the course of a child’s illness. It may be the last symptom to resolve.

How is Kawasaki disease diagnosed?

One challenge in diagnosing Kawasaki disease is distinguishing it from other childhood diseases that have similar symptoms, such as some viral infections, including measles, adenovirus, enterovirus and Epstein-Barr virus—as well as illnesses caused by bacterial toxins, such as scarlet fever, toxic shock syndrome or bacterial infection of the lymph nodes in the neck.

A prolonged high fever (at least four days), along with several other symptoms, must be present for your child’s doctor to consider Kawasaki disease as the cause of his illness, and other illnesses need to be ruled out. To arrive at a diagnosis, your child’s doctor will start by taking a full medical history and conducting a thorough physical exam. Diagnostic tests may include:

  • electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): a test that records the electrical activity of the heart and shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias)
     
  • echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound): a diagnostic tool that uses sound waves to produce a moving picture of the heart and heart valves in order to:
    • measure the coronary arteries
    • evaluate the structure and function of the heart muscle and heart valves
       
  • complete blood count (CBC): a measurement of the size, number and maturity of blood cells in a specific volume of blood; detects elevation in the numbers of white blood cells, which normally multiply in the presence of infection
     
  • erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR, “sed rate”) and/or c-reactive protein (CRP): non-specific markers of inflammation in the blood
     
  • urinalysis: testing of a urine sample for protein, red blood cells or white blood cells; helps rule out other diseases

Observations and lab results that can support a diagnosis of Kawasaki disease include:

  • extreme irritability
  • inflammation of the joints (arthritis)
  • elevated white blood cell count
  • elevated liver function tests
  • signs of inflammation in the blood and urine
  • anemia

It is possible to have Kawasaki disease without showing all of these signs. Such cases are called “incomplete” (or atypical) Kawasaki disease. Infants younger than 6 months are most likely to have incomplete Kawasaki disease, and infants have the highest risk for developing coronary artery injury.

How is Kawasaki disease treated?

The standard treatment for Kawasaki disease is IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin), administered during the acute phase of the illness. IVIG has been shown to shorten the duration of the fever and decrease the risk of developing a coronary aneurysm. Because IVIG is given intravenously (through a vein), your child will need to stay in the hospital for at least one day, and often longer if IVIG is given.

In addition, high doses of aspirin will help control your child’s fever until it has resolved, after which time the dose of aspirin is lowered. Lower-dose aspirin helps prevent blood clotting during this time.

Most children respond to their first treatment with IVIG with reduced fever. If your child’s fever continues, he may need a second dose. Some children are resistant to IVIG (i.e., continue to have fever despite IVIG treatment) and may be treated with other therapies. The expert team in Boston Children’s Kawasaki Disease Program has wide experience treating children with IVIG-resistant Kawasaki disease.

What are the risks to the heart from Kawasaki disease?

A small but significant percentage (approximately 20 percent) of untreated children with the disease develop abnormalities in their coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen), resulting in coronary artery dilation or aneurysms. Prompt treatment with IVIG reduces the risk of a child developing coronary complications to less than 5 percent.

What causes Kawasaki disease?

Despite decades of research, the cause of Kawasaki disease is still unknown. The disease is not contagious (spread from person to person). Outbreaks have been reported in waves within geographical areas, and the disease tends to occur more frequently in winter and early spring.

Because no bacteria or virus has been proven to cause Kawasaki disease, some experts believe that Kawasaki disease is an immune reaction that children may have to a variety of infectious agents. Genetic susceptibility may play a role.

How often does Kawasaki disease occur?

Kawasaki disease is a major cause of heart disease in children. It has replaced acute rheumatic fever as the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the United States and Japan.

Can Kawasaki disease be prevented?

Currently, there’s no known way to prevent Kawasaki disease. Nothing you’ve done has caused your child’s condition, and there are no precautions you could have taken to prevent it.

What is my child’s long-term outlook?

Most children make a full recovery after their Kawasaki disease resolves. Any child who has had Kawasaki disease should receive periodic follow-up.

Kawasaki disease was first described in the late 60’s, so information about the longer-term complications of the illness is restricted to the first few decades of life. Within this time frame, children who never developed coronary aneurysms at any time in their early illness have not developed future coronary artery disease causing clinical symptoms.

However, we do like to make sure that children who’ve had Kawasaki disease do not have additional risk factors for coronary heart disease as they get older. Since the very long-term health risks from Kawasaki disease aren’t conclusively known, your child should be sure to eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly and avoid smoking. At some point after the illness (about one year later), he should have a cholesterol profile checked as part of his routine well-child care.

If your child developed an aneurysm as a result of Kawasaki disease, he’ll need more frequent cardiac follow-up. The frequency of follow-up and cardiac testing is determined individually for each patient, depending on the extent of coronary injury. Coronary arteries that are damaged may heal over time.

In coronary arteries with large or giant coronary aneurysms, the healing process may result in tightness (stenosis) of the coronary artery, especially at the ends of the aneurysm. If a coronary artery blockage or stenosis occurs, the child is at risk for too little blood flow to the heart (myocardial ischemia) or a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

Aneurysms may also occasionally occur in other arteries, such as those supplying the arms, legs or kidneys. These peripheral aneurysms rarely cause symptoms, and are generally seen only in patients who have giant coronary aneurysms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Kawasaki disease 

What is Kawasaki disease?
If my child has Kawasaki disease, will he be OK?
How does Boston Children’s treat Kawasaki disease?
What are the signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease?
If my child has Kawasaki disease, what should I ask my Boston Children’s doctor?
How is Kawasaki disease usually diagnosed?
What should we do at home after Kawasaki disease?
What causes Kawasaki disease?
Who gets Kawasaki disease?
What is Boston Children’s experience treating Kawasaki disease? 
What heart research and innovations are coming from Boston Children’s?

Q: What is Kawasaki disease?

A: Kawasaki disease is an acute systemic illness characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis). It begins with the onset of a high fever for at least four days, along with other signs and symptoms that develop over the course of approximately one-two weeks. The inflammation from Kawasaki disease affects the blood vessels of many tissues in the body—including the hands, feet, whites of the eyes, mouth, lips, throat, lymph nodes and skin.

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Q: If my child has Kawasaki disease, will he be OK?

A:If recognized and treated early, you child can begin to feel better in a few days, with a low likelihood of long-term heart issues. Without treatment, approximately 20 percent of patients develop damage to their coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen), results in those vessels’ enlargement (dilation or aneurysm formation).

Children who receive treatment with IVIG within the first ten days of illness have a less than 5 percent risk of coronary artery damage. Any child who’s had Kawasaki disease should receive periodic follow-up for the duration of time that his cardiologist advises.

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Q: How does Boston Children’s treat Kawasaki disease?

A: The standard treatment for Kawasaki disease is IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin), given during the acute phase of the illness. IVIG has been shown to shorten the duration of the fever and decrease the risk of developing a coronary aneurysm. Because IVIG is given intravenously (through a vein), your child will need to stay in the hospital for at least one day, and often longer.

In addition, high doses of aspirin will help control your child’s fever until it has resolved, after which time the dose of aspirin is lowered. Lower-dose aspirin helps prevent blood clotting during this time.

Most children respond to their first treatment with IVIG with reduced fever. If your child’s fever continues, he may need a second dose. Some children are resistant to IVIG (i.e., continue to have fever despite IVIG treatment) and may be treated with other therapies. The expert team in Children’s Kawasaki Disease Program has wide experience treating children with IVIG-resistant Kawasaki disease.

Back to top.


Q: What are the signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease?

A: The signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease often resemble other conditions or medical problems, so always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis. Your child’s doctor will be looking for typical signs and symptoms—starting with a persistent high fever (101 degrees F to 104 degrees F) for at least four days, along with four out of five of the following:

  • changes in extremities
    • red, swollen palms of hands and soles of feet
    • peeling skin around the fingertips, hands or feet (occurs later in the illness)
  • non-specific rash on the body, often accentuated in the groin area
  • bloodshot eyes (no discharge)
  • redness in the lips, mouth and tongue
    • dry, red, cracked lips
    • inflamed, red mouth
    • swollen, red tongue (“strawberry tongue”)
  • swollen lymph node(s) in the neck (more than 1.5 cm), usually on one side

It is possible to have Kawasaki disease without showing all of these signs. Such cases are called “incomplete” (or atypical) Kawasaki disease. Infants younger than 6 months are most likely to have incomplete Kawasaki disease, and infants have the highest risk for developing coronary artery damage.

Other symptoms may develop that include:

  • arthritis-like symptoms (joint pain and swelling of the joints)
  • extreme irritability
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • enlarged liver or gallbladder
  • cough and respiratory symptoms
Back to top.


Q: If my child has Kawasaki disease, what should I ask my Boston Children’s doctor?

A: Ask your doctor:

  • How will you diagnose my child?
  • What actions might you take after you reach a diagnosis?
  • What therapies are offered?
  • What should we expect when he comes home?
  • Will there be restrictions on my child’s activities?
  • Will there be long-term effects?
Back to top.


Q: How is Kawasaki disease usually diagnosed?

A: A prolonged high fever along with several other symptoms need to be present for your child’s doctor to consider Kawasaki disease as the cause for his illness, and other illnesses must be ruled out. To arrive at a diagnosis, your child’s doctor/practitioner will start by taking a full medical history and by conducting a thorough physical examination. Additional diagnostic tests may include:

  • electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound)
  • blood tests
  • urine tests
Back to top.


Q: What should we do at home after Kawasaki disease?

A:
It’s important to monitor your child’s temperature after discharge and to contact your physician/practitioner if his fever returns. Low-dose aspirin is used to prevent clotting for approximately six to eight weeks after your child goes home—even longer if he’s had any heart or blood vessel complications, such as an aneurysm.

Expect him to feel tired and irritable for a few weeks after he comes home. Irritability is often the last symptom to disappear. In addition, children may have peeling of the skin of their hands and feet (beginning at the tips). This generally occurs in the second week of illness and although it’s not painful, the new skin may be somewhat tender.

Your child's lips may be cracked for a few weeks after he's been discharged, and his skin overall may be dry. You can apply Vaseline to his lips and an unscented lotion to his skin for hydration. Some children may have a temporary arthritis that can last for up to a few months.

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Q: What causes Kawasaki disease?

A: Despite decades of research, the cause of Kawasaki disease is still unknown. The disease is not contagious (spread from person to person). Outbreaks have been reported in waves within geographical areas, and the disease tends to occur more frequently in winter and early spring.

Because no bacteria or virus has been proven to cause Kawasaki disease, some experts believe that Kawasaki disease is an immune reaction that children may have to a variety of infectious agents. Genetic susceptibility may play a role.

Back to top.


Q: Who gets Kawasaki disease?

A. Kawasaki disease occurs more often in Japan than in any other country. Children of Asian or Asian-American heritage have a higher risk of Kawasaki disease regardless of where they live—although Kawasaki disease can occur in any racial or ethnic group.

The majority (75 percent) of children who develop Kawasaki disease are age 5 years or younger, although children of any age can get the disease. The average age of a child with the illness is approximately 2 years, and boys are about 1.5 times as likely to develop Kawasaki disease as girls.

Back to top.


Q: What is Boston Children’s experience treating Kawasaki disease?

A: Boston Children’s serves as a national and international Kawasaki disease resource for parents and physicians. Our Kawasaki Disease Program—staffed by cardiologists, rheumatologists and a pediatric nurse practitioner—treats more than 65 new patients each year for definite or suspected Kawasaki disease, and we follow more than 1,500 children and young adults long-term.

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Q: What heart research and innovations are coming from Boston Children’s?

A: There’s still a lot to learn about Kawasaki disease. Ongoing research in Kawasaki disease at Boston Children’s includes studies in several areas, such as:

  • searching for genetic factors that may play a role in the susceptibility of Kawasaki disease
  • finding a test to aid in the diagnosis of Kawasaki disease
  • advances in treatment options for children who don’t respond to conventional therapy
  • delineating the long-term sequelae of Kawasaki disease in patients with and without coronary aneurysms
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When to seek medical advice

Call your health care provider if your baby or child has a persistent high fever for at least four days along with some or all of the diagnostic criteria described above.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • How will you diagnose my child?
  • What actions might you take after you reach a diagnosis?
  • What therapies are offered?
  • Will my child be OK if he has Kawasaki disease?
  • Will there be restrictions on my child’s activities?
  • What should we expect when he comes home?
  • Will there be long-term effects?

Who’s at risk

Kawasaki disease occurs more often in Japan than in any other country. Children of Asian or Asian-American heritage have a higher risk of Kawasaki disease regardless of where they live—although Kawasaki disease can occur in any racial or ethnic group.

The majority (75 percent) of children who develop Kawasaki disease are age 5 years or younger, although children of any age can get the disease. The average age of a child with the illness is approximately 2 years, and boys are about 1.5 times as likely to develop Kawasaki disease as girls.

Researchers continue to explore the genetic factors that put some children at higher risk for Kawasaki disease, since:

  • Children of Japanese origin, no matter where in the world they live, are more likely to get Kawasaki disease.
  • Brothers and sisters of children with Kawasaki disease are slightly more likely than other neighborhood children to develop the illness at a later time.
  • Kawasaki disease has been reported in the children of parents who themselves had been affected in childhood.

Complications

A small but significant percentage (approximately 20 percent) of untreated children with the disease develop abnormalities in their coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen), resulting in coronary artery dilation or aneurysms. Prompt treatment with IVIG reduces the risk of a child developing coronary complications to less than 5 percent.

Long-term outlook

Most children make a full recovery after their Kawasaki disease resolves. Any child who has had Kawasaki disease should receive periodic follow-up.

Kawasaki disease was first described in the late 60’s, so information about the longer-term complications of the illness is restricted to the first few decades of life. Within this time frame, children who never developed coronary aneurysms at any time in their early illness have not developed future coronary artery disease causing clinical symptoms.

However, we do like to make sure that children who’ve had Kawasaki disease do not have additional risk factors for coronary heart disease as they get older. Since the very long-term health risks from Kawasaki disease aren’t conclusively known, your child should be sure to eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly and avoid smoking. At some point after the illness (about one year later), he should have a cholesterol profile checked as part of his routine well-child care.

If your child developed an aneurysm as a result of Kawasaki disease, he’ll need more frequent cardiac follow-up. The frequency of follow-up and cardiac testing is determined individually for each patient, depending on the extent of coronary injury. Coronary arteries that are damaged may heal over time.

In coronary arteries with large or giant coronary aneurysms, the healing process may result in tightness (stenosis) of the coronary artery, especially at the ends of the aneurysm. If a coronary artery blockage or stenosis occurs, the child is at risk for too little blood flow to the heart (myocardial ischemia) or a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

Aneurysms may also occasionally occur in other arteries, such as those supplying the arms, legs or kidneys. These peripheral aneurysms rarely cause symptoms, and are generally seen only in patients who’ve giant coronary aneurysms.

What you can do at home

Expect your child to feel tired and irritable for a few weeks after he comes home. He may be able to go back to school/daycare after about a week, but may not feel 100 percent better until about six to eight weeks after his illness. Monitor your child’s temperature at home, and contact your health professional if the fever returns.

Your child may be prescribed low-dose aspirin to prevent clotting for as long as six to eight weeks after he goes home. A child will need ongoing medication if he has coronary enlargement or aneurysms. Medications that affect clotting, such as aspirin, will cause easy bruising. While the child is on an anti-clotting medication, he should avoid activities that have a high risk of physical injury, and should take usual precautions such as wearing seat belts in the car and helmets on bicycles.

Prevention

Currently, there’s no known way to prevent Kawasaki disease. Nothing you’ve done has caused your child’s condition, and there are no precautions you could have taken to prevent it.

Kawasaki disease glossary

acute phase: the first phase of Kawasaki disease, involving a high fever and vasculitis resulting in the typical signs and symptoms of  Kawasaki disease
      
aneurysm: a bulged out area of a weakened coronary artery wall. Blood clots can form in the ballooned area, blocking blood flow through the coronary artery.
      
blood clot: a congealed mass of blood that may block, or partially block, the flow of blood through an artery
      
cardiac/cardio-: pertaining to the heart
      
cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): a non-invasive diagnostic tool using 3-D imaging technology produced by magnets to accurately determine the blood flow, structure and functioning of your child’s heart
      
cardiac surgery: surgical procedure performed on the heart
      
cardiologist: doctor who diagnoses and treats heart problems non-surgically. A pediatric cardiologist treats infants and children with heart problems.
      
complete blood count (CBC): a measurement of the size, number and maturity of different blood cells in a specific volume of blood; detects elevation in the numbers of white blood cells, which normally multiply in the presence of inflammation or infection
      
convalescent: gradually returning to health and strength
      
coronary arteries: blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood
      
c-reactive protein (CRP): a non-specific marker of inflammation in the blood
      
diagnosis: medical determination of illness or disease based on history, physical examinations and advanced technology diagnostic testing tools
      
dilated: enlarged
      
echocardiogram (echo, cardiac ultrasound): a diagnostic tool that uses sound waves to produce a moving picture of the heart and heart valves in order to:
  • measure the coronary arteries
  • evaluate the structure and function of the heart and heart valves
              
electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG): a test that records the electrical activity of the heart and shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmia)
      
erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or “sed rate”): a non-specific marker of inflammation in the blood
      
incomplete (atypical) Kawasaki disease: a form of the disease in which not all of the typical diagnostic signs and symptoms show up. Infants younger than 6 months are most likely to have incomplete Kawasaki disease.
      
inflammation: the process that makes living tissue swell, become painful and turn red
      
IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin): the standard medication for Kawasaki disease.
      
Kawasaki disease (KD, mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome): an acute illness characterized by a high, sustained fever and vasculitis; chiefly affects children
      
mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome: another term for Kawasaki disease
      
myocarditis: inflammation and irritation of the heart muscle
      
myocardium: the heart muscle
      
myointimal proliferation: the multiplying of cells lining the blood vessels
      
myopericarditis: inflammation and irritation of the heart muscle and the membrane covering the heart
      
pericardium: membrane covering the heart
      
stenosis (-es): blockage, blockages
      
symptoms: the presenting physical complaints for which a patient seeks medical attention
      
urinalysis: testing of a urine sample for protein, red blood cells or white blood cells
      
vasculitis: inflammation of the blood vessels


For a more complete list of cardiovascular terms, visit Boston Children’s Cardiovascular glossary.

For in-depth visual information on several of the conditions, diagnostic tools and procedures described above, visit our cardiovascular Multimedia library.


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