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June 1976

Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome: The Epidemiologic Approach Toward Finding Its Causation

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(6):593-594. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120070019004

The mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome (MLNS) is a new, or at least newly recognized, disease that has occurred in significant numbers in Japan since 1960.1 A few cases have been reported from North America in more recent years.2-4 Whether it will increase to the frequency that it exhibits in Japan remains to be seen.

The disease appears to be sufficiently characteristic in its manifestations to afford accurate diagnosis on clinical grounds alone. The condition would be of little more than a nuisance except for the fact that a small percentage of infants and young children affected develop coronary disease, usually an aneurysm, with myocardial infarction and death. With more than 6,000 cases recorded in Japan through 1973,1 an incidence of coronary disease of 5% or less assumes significance.

The cause and pathogenesis of MLNS are not yet defined. Some characteristics of the illness, including fever, rash, leukocytosis,

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