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An Bras Dermatol. 2009 Jul-Aug;84(4):317-29.

[Kawasaki disease].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Dermatologia, Universidade de Brasília, DF, Brasil.


Kawasaki disease is a systemic acute vasculitis of unknown etiology. It is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the USA. It occurs more frequently in boys and eighty percent of the cases occur in children under five years of age. The disease rarely occurs after eight years and it can affect children of all races, with higher incidence among Asian descendants. Kawasaki disease is characterized by fever, bilateral non-exudative conjunctivitis, redness and swelling of the tongue, lips and oral mucosa, abnormalities in the extremities, cervical lymph node, and polymorphic exanthema. Aneurysms and stenoses of coronary arteries occur in approximately 20 to 25% of untreated patients and subsequently can lead to acute myocardial infarction and sudden death. Treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin is effective and should be initiated early to prevent cardiac sequel. The development of diagnostic tests, more specific treatment approaches and prevention of this potentially fatal disease in children depends on continuous advances in the determination of its pathogenesis.

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