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Salicylate for treating Kawasaki disease in children and to prevent long‐term cardiac abnormalities

Kawasaki disease is an inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis) which predominantly affects young children, under the age of five years. It was first recognised in children in Japan and is the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children in developed countries. Kawasaki disease can be difficult to diagnose because it has similar symptoms to many common childhood infections. The most important complication of Kawasaki disease is caused by inflammation of the heart (coronary) arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. This may lead to immediate heart problems and damage to the coronary arteries can also have long‐term effects. Salicylate (acetyl salicylate acid, aspirin) and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) are widely used to treat Kawasaki disease, although salicylate is generally avoided in children because of concerns about serious side effects, particularly the risk of Reye's syndrome causing swelling of the brain and liver.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Intravenous immunoglobulin for the treatment of Kawasaki disease in children

Good evidence that intravenous immunoglobulin treatment within the first 10 days of symptoms reduces coronary artery abnormalities (heart damage) in children with Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki disease is a disease that primarily affects children under five years old. The cause of Kawasaki disease is not known. Its symptoms are persistent fever, red eyes and lips, strawberry tongue, rash and swollen lymph nodes. If not detected and treated immediately, Kawasaki disease can result in heart damage and occasionally death. Intravenous immunoglobulin involves injecting antibodies purified from donated blood. The review of trials found that intravenous immunoglobulin given within the first 10 days of the disease reduces the risk of damage to the coronary arteries of the heart in children, without serious adverse effects.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

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