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Cardiac Problems Present in Adults With Kawasaki Disease

But no treatment guidelines for adults currently exist

FRIDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- An increasing number of adults who had Kawasaki disease as children will present with cardiovascular problems, but no guidelines currently exist for the management of these patients, according to a review in the Nov. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

John B. Gordon, M.D., from the San Diego Cardiac Center, and colleagues reviewed the literature on the cardiovascular manifestations present in adults who had Kawasaki disease as children. Kawasaki disease is a febrile illness that can lead to permanent damage to the arterial wall, valve leaflets, and myocardium, according to the authors.

While noting that Kawasaki disease has become the most common cause of heart disease in children in developed countries, the authors write that the prognosis of most patients is benign. However, some patients will have vascular lesions that differ from atherosclerosis, such as coronary artery aneurysms, calcification, stenosis, or valvular incompetence, and require lifelong treatment.

"Currently, there are no established guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of adult patients who have had Kawasaki disease," Gordon and colleagues write. "For now, the management of these patients must be guided by common sense and an appreciation of the uncertainty about the cardiovascular outcomes in adults who experienced Kawasaki disease in childhood."

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