Complications

The most common complication is a ballooning of the vessels of the heart (called a coronary artery aneurysm). Among children who do not receive intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) treatment in the acute phase, 15 percent to 25 percent will develop damage to the coronary arteries. The longer the fever persists, the greater the risk of the development of coronary aneurysms.

Coronary artery abnormalities often are not detected until the second week after the onset of fever; however, they have been detected as early as seven days into the illness. The affected vessels can continue to enlarge through the fourth week of illness, at which time they have generally reached their maximum dimension.

Kawasaki Disease Foundation The only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to addressing issues related to kawasaki disease, established in 2000 by a group of parents and professionals. The foundation strives to unite the personal insight of families with the expertise of medical professionals. The group tries to raise awareness among the medical community, child-care providers, and the general public and also provide support among families to help them cope with this uncommon illness and the potentially devastating effects of heart damage. The group also raises money for research. (For contact information, see Appendix I.)

kerion An inflamed area of the skin that develops as an immune reaction to a fungus, usually ringworm of the scalp.

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