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Kawasaki Disease – Treatment of Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki Disease is a rare condition that affects the lymph nodes and mucous membranes of nose, throat and mouth. It mostly affects children below 5 years. Moreover it is often seen in boys than in girls. The cause for the disease is unknown and is considered to be the leading cause for heart diseases in children. With early recognition and treatment, the disease can be reduced and further complications can be prevented. The treatment of Kawasaki disease is discussed below.

Kawasaki Disease Treatment
The child’s doctor starts the treatment of Kawasaki disease as soon as it is diagnosed. The main goal of the treatment is to lower the fever and inflammation of lymph nodes. This hence prevents heart ailments in the child.

Initial Treatment
Initial treatment to the child is given in hospital itself. The doctor may suggest following medications to lower the risks of the condition.

  • Aspirin – This reduces fever, pain and inflammation of joints. High doses of the drug prevents clot formation.
  • Gamma globulin – This is an immune protein injection given intravenously i.e through veins. It lowers the risk of coronary artery problems.

Follow-up Treatment

  • The doctor suggests low-dose aspirin drug for a period of 6-8 weeks.
  • If the child develops chickenpox or flu during the treatment, aspirin intake should be stopped.
  • If aspirin is continuously taken, it may lead to a rare syndrome called Reye’s syndrome that affects the brain, liver and blood of the child.

Treating Heart Problems related to Kawasaki Disease
If the child develops any signs related to heart problems, the doctor may refer the child to a paediatric cardiologist. The treatments that are suggested include:

  • Medications – Anticoagulant medications such as heparin, warfarin and aspirin help to prevent clot formation.
  • Stent placement – This treatment method helps in decreasing the blockage of blood. A device is implanted in the clogged artery to make it open.
  • Coronary artery angioplasty – This technique opens the arteries and allows appropriate blood flow.
  • Coronary artery bypass graft – This is a method in which the blood is made to take an other route from the affected artery. This is done by grafting part of blood vessel present in arm, leg or chest with the affected artery.

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