Unifying Concepts

Diagnostic Criteria for Kawasaki Disease (KD)

Kawasaki disease (KD) is a childhood vasculitis affecting the medium-sized muscular arteries, mainly the coronary arteries. The hallmark of KD is fever lasting 5 days or more, counting the day of fever onset as day 1, in addition to 4 or 5 of the principal clinical criteria: cracking of lips or strawberry tongue, nonpurulent conjunctivitis, rash, erythema and edema of the hands and feet, and large unilateral cervical lymphadenopathy.

Criteria for the diagnosis of KD
Classic KD is diagnosed in the presence of fever for at least 5 days together with at least 4 of the 5 following principal clinical features.

  1. Erythema and cracking of lips, strawberry tongue, or erythema of oral and pharyngeal mucosa
  2. Bilateral bulbar conjunctival injection without exudate
  3. Rash: maculopapular, diffuse erythroderma, or erythema multiforme–like
  4. Erythema and edema of the hands and feet in the acute phase
  5. Cervical lymphadenopathy (≥ 1.5 cm in diameter), usually unilateral



  1. Taubert KA, Shulman ST. Kawasaki disease. Am Fam Physician. 1999 Jun;59(11):3093-102, 3107-8. [Medline]
  2. Stapp J, Marshall GS. Fulfillment of diagnostic criteria in Kawasaki disease. South Med J. 2000 Jan;93(1):44-7. [Medline]
  3. Curtis N. Kawasaki disease. BMJ. 1997 Aug 9;315(7104):322-3. [Medline]
  4. Morishita KA, Goldman RD. Kawasaki disease recognition and treatment. Can Fam Physician. 2020 Aug;66(8):577-579. [Medline]


Created: May 12, 2005
Update: Nov 05, 2021

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