Heart and Blood Conditions

Kawasaki Disease Treatment

To reduce the risk of coronary artery problems, it’s important for children with Kawasaki disease to get treatment right away.

Kawasaki Disease Treatment Options

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a medicine given through a vein, also called an IV, is the main treatment. It is effective if given within the first 10 days of the disease. About 20% of children do not respond to the first dose and need to get a second dose. To get this medicine, your child will need to stay in the hospital.

Your child will also need aspirin to help control symptoms like fever, rash and swollen joints. At first, they will likely need high doses. Then, after their temperature is normal, the doctor will lower the dose. Your child will go home and stay on the lower dose for several weeks.

Once treatment starts, children with Kawasaki disease usually start to feel much better within about a day.

If your child has coronary artery problems from Kawasaki disease, they may need other types of care, such as medicines that prevent blood clots, to help prevent further problems.

Is aspirin safe for my child? What about Reye syndrome?

No one has found an association between Reye syndrome and aspirin as used in the treatment of Kawasaki disease. Aspirin was associated with “Reye syndrome” in the 1970s and 1980s when it was used in extremely high doses to treat viral illnesses, like the flu and chickenpox.

New Treatments for Kawasaki Disease

Doctors at Seattle Children’s are trying to find new and better treatments for Kawasaki disease. Because 20% of children do not respond to IVIG, they are trying different medications. Your team at the hospital may ask permission for your child to participate in a clinical research study, or clinical trial, to learn more about treating Kawasaki disease. Doctors at Seattle Children’s also are searching for a way to predict which patients will not respond to IVIG. They may ask you to participate in this type of research.

Read more about Seattle Children’s Kawasaki Disease research program.

Contact Us

Contact the Kawasaki Disease Clinic at 206-987-2015 for a referral, a second opinion or more information.