Update on Kawasaki disease: Epidemiology, aetiology and pathogenesis

Authors

  • Deane Yim,

    1. Department of Cardiology, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Nigel Curtis,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    3. Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of General Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Michael Cheung,

    1. Department of Cardiology, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    3. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • David Burgner

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest or disclosures to make.

Correspondence: Dr David Burgner, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, 50 Flemington Road, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia. Fax: +61 3 93454751; email: david.burgner@mcri.edu.au

Abstract

Kawasaki disease is an acute systemic vasculitis predominantly affecting young children. It is due to an abnormal host response to as yet unidentified infectious trigger(s). Kawasaki disease may cause coronary artery damage, long-term cardiovascular morbidity and occasionally mortality, especially if the diagnosis is missed or timely treatment is not given. This is the first of two updates on Kawasaki disease. Here we review recent advances in epidemiology, possible aetiologies, host susceptibility and pathogenesis of this fascinating condition.

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