Center for Kawasa​ki Disease

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Kawasaki disease is the most common cause of acquired (not born with) heart disease in children in the United States and other developed nations. It is a serious pediatric illness that causes inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels throughout the body, most importantly those that feed the heart muscle. Timely diagnosis is critical, as one in four children with this illness develop coronary aneurysms without proper treatment. Complications can be significantly reduced when children are treated within 10 days of the start of fever.


Why Choose the Center for Kawasaki Disease?

Since 1979, the Division of Infectious Diseases​ has cared for more than 1,600 children with Kawasaki disease. Until the mid-1980s, no specific treatment was available for Kawasaki disease. Studies at our hospital and several other children’s hospitals proved that a medicine called i​ntravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), when given together with high doses of aspirin early in the illness, significantly reduces inflammation and the risk of coronary artery damage in most children. Our physician-scientists are continuing their research efforts to find the cause of this illness, to improve diagnosis and treatment and to identify genetic factors that determine who is susceptible to Kawasaki disease.

The hospital’s Center for Kawasaki Disease was established in 1​998 and has become well-known nationally and internationally as one of the most active centers in the U.S. for clinical, educational and research programs related to Kawasaki disease. Our comprehensive care program at the Center for Kawasaki Disease combines experts from Infectious Diseases and Cardiology who collaborate to provide patients with the best care and the optimal long-term management. 

What to Expect

After hospitalization, your child will continue to be treated by our comprehensive team of experts with extensive experience in Kawasaki disease management at the Center for Kawasaki Disease at the main hospital.

Your child will receive an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) and may need additional blood tests performed. Along with this testing, you will be seen by our experts who will thoroughly evaluate your child’s medical history, physical examination, echocardiogram findings and laboratory test results. From there, your care team will make recommendations for medications for the treatment.

After hospital discharge, follow-up clinic visits are usually scheduled for 1-2 weeks and 4-6 weeks later at our combined Cardiology/Infectious Disease Clinic. If your child has a coronary aneurysm caused by Kawasaki disease, the visits to the doctor may be more frequent and treatment and follow-up will be tailored to each patient.  

Our Team

Infectious Disease

Anne H. Rowley, MD

Attending Physician, Infectious Diseases; Dorothy M. and Edward E. Burwell Board Designated Professorship in Immunobiology

Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases) and Microbiology-Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Tresa E. Zielinski, DNP, RN, APRN-NP, CPNP-PC

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Infectious Diseases

Nancy Innocentini, RN

Registered Nurse, Infectious Diseases

Cardiology

Simon Lee, MD, FSCMR

Medical Director, Kawasaki Disease Program; Medical Director, Coronary Anomalies Program; Attending Physician, Cardiology

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Michael R. Carr, MD

Attending Physician, Cardiology; Fellowship Program Director

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Pei-Ni Jone, MD

Director, Echocardiography Laboratory, Heart Center; Attending Physician, Cardiology

Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Catherine Dziedzic, DNP, APRN-NP, CPNP-PC

Advanced Practice Provider, Inpatient Cardiology

Appointments

If you are concerned your child has Kawasaki disease, your pediatrician should evaluate your child promptly. Your pediatrician should contact the Division of Infectious Diseases at 312.227.4080 if a diganosis is suspected to discuss your child’s illness and develop a plan for evaluation.

If you'd like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists for a non-urgent matter, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS.DOC®) or visit our Appointments page for more information.

In addition to in-person visits, we now offer telemedicine visits via video or phone. Some appointments will still require you to be seen in-person, but your physician and care team will let you know if a telemedicine appointment is available.

Second Opinions

For families or providers seeking a second opinion, we offer a Priority Second Opinion Clinic.

Request a Second Opinion

Heart Center Family Resource Guide

To help prepare families for their care with Lurie Children's Heart Center, we have compiled a list of resources about treatment and recovery. Learn how to get ready for an inpatient stay or outpatient visit, and read about our support services for patients and families.

Additional Resources

The Kawasaki Disease Foundation​ website may offer useful information.

Related Specialties

Philanthropy

Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children's relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org or call 312.227.7500