June 1980

Acute Febrile Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver (Drs Yanagihara and Todd), and The Children's Hospital, Denver (Dr Todd). Dr Yanagihara is now with the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(6):603-614. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130180059017

More than a decade ago, Tomisaku Kawasaki, a Japanese pediatrician, described an acute exanthematous disease characterized by persistent fever, mucous membrane hyperemia, cervical lymph node enlargement, and periungal desquamation in 50 infants and children who had been seen during the preceding six-year period at the Japan Red Cross Medical Center in Tokyo.1 Individually the clinical and laboratory features seemed not unlike those of other mucocutaneous syndromes and exanthematous illnesses of childhood, but Kawasaki decided that the constellation of findings was distinctive and constituted a hitherto undescribed clinical entity. The disease was designated mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome (MCLS).1

After this description, numerous cases were reported throughout Japan, and in 1970 the Research Committee of MCLS, supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Japanese government, was organized.

The primary purpose of this group was to conduct and to coordinate investigations involving the etiology and the clinical, pathological,