Kawasaki Disease Treatment in toddlers

Early and effective treatment may be crucial to speed the healing process and reduce the risk of complications of Kawasaki Disease in Child. If not addressed soon, Kawasaki disease healing will be longer, the risk of complications is also greater.

Kawasaki Disease in toddlers

What is Kawasaki disease?

Kawasaki disease is a disease that causes inflammation of blood vessel walls throughout the body, especially the heart's blood vessels. This disease usually attack  children under five years old. Generally toddlers aged between one and a half to two years.

In addition to blood vessels, Kawasaki disease can attack lymph nodes, skin, and mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, and throat. Therefore, this disease is also called mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome.

Cause Kawasaki Disease in toddlers

Experts do not know exactly what causes Kawasaki disease. However, some studies suggest that Kawasaki's disease may be caused by an abnormal reaction to certain viruses. Other studies also say that this disease is an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system in a child's body thinks that body tissues are pathogens so that the tissues are attacked.

Symptoms of Kawasaki disease in toddlers

The symptoms of Kawasaki disease are divided into three phases, namely the acute phase, the sub acute phase, and the healing phase. However, in some cases, the patient may experience an advanced phase, the chronic phase.

The first phase Symptoms

The first phase is called an acute phase lasting from one to two weeks. The characteristics and symptoms that may be shown by children affected by this disease:

  •  Fever over 39 degrees C and lasts for five days or more
  • Red eye (conjunctivitis) in the absence of impurities
  • Red rash on body parts and genital parts
  • Lips swollen, red, dry, cracked
  • Tongue swelling and red (strawberry tongue)
  • Your palms and soles are swollen and red in color
  • Swelling of the mucous membranes in the neck
The symptoms shown in this first phase are somewhat similar to other diseases, such as fever, measles, allergies, or thyroid disease (parotitis).

Many parents think that their child has a common fever, so they give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve fever in children. However, fever in children suffering from Kawasaki disease will not be responsive to antibiotics.

In addition, the administration of drugs without doctor’s prescription may also interfere the measurement of how severe and how long the duration of fever in the child, which will be used for further diagnosis. Diagnosis should be done in this phase.

The second phase

The next phase is called the sub-acute phase, there could be up to six weeks. Visible traits:

  •  Peeling hands and feet skin, especially on the fingertips
  •  Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gag
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
In this phase, an increase in the number of platelets in the body that could exceed 1 million / mL of blood (thrombocytosis) and the development of coronary aneurysms. If in this phase the child still has a fever, the risk of heart complications is increasing. The risk of sudden death also increased dramatically in this phase.

The third phase

In the third phase is the phase of healing, signs and symptoms slowly begin to disappear, unless complications of the disease getting worse. After one to two months after the fever appears horizontal transverse lines on fingernails and feet, known as Beau's lines, as a result of diseases that affect the whole body. In the healing phase, cardiac abnormalities may still exist.

Chronic phase

The chronic phase only occurs in patients with severe heart complications. This can usually be continued until adulthood, given the blockages in blood vessels are formed in childhood can be broken in adulthood.

Other complications that may occur include inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis), abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), enlarging the size of the heart (cardiomegaly), to disorders of the heart valves that causes blood to flow from the left ventricle into the atrium left

Treatment of Kawasaki Disease in toddlers

The primary goal of treatment at an early stage is to reduce fever, reduce inflammation, while preventing damage to the heart. The main procedure undertaken to treat this disease is to provide aspirin and immunoglobulin.

Aspirin should not actually be consumed by children under 16, but Kawasaki's disease is one of the exceptions. This drug can overcome inflammation, reduce fever, and reduce pain. The dose and duration of aspirin use will be determined by the physician based on the patient's condition.

Immunoglobulin administration through the infusion is also needed to reduce fever as well as the risk of cardiac complications. The intensity of Kawasaki disease symptoms will generally be reduced after the patient receives this infusion. The type of immunoglobulin used to treat Kawasaki disease is gamma globulin.

If aspirin and immunoglobulin do not work, doctors may give corticosteroids. In addition to medications, you can provide simple handling to reduce heat. For example by giving a lot of drinking or compressing your child.

After a fever has dropped, the doctor may prescribe low-dose aspirin if the patient is detected with coronary artery disease. Low-dose aspirin serves to prevent blood clots. These drugs will usually be given up to 1.5-2 months after symptoms appear.

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