Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease

Bo Reményi, Andrew Steer, Michael Cheung

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Rheumatic fever is an autoimmune disease associated with group A β-hemolytic streptococcal infection that primarily affects the heart, joints, brain, and skin. Diagnosis is made by clinical criteria along with confirmation of the presence of recent streptococcal infection. Rheumatic fever is prevalent in geographic regions that have close living quarters and poor nutrition and hygiene. Rheumatic heart disease is a common consequence of rheumatic fever and is thought to occur because of molecular mimicry between the host and the streptococcal bacteria. This reaction causes valvulitis, particularly of the mitral and aortic valves. Valve disease usually starts as regurgitation but progresses to stenosis. Acute and recurrent episodes of rheumatic fever are treatable with penicillin. Diagnosis and progression of disease and also chronic and repeat episodes of rheumatic fever can be monitored using echocardiography. Surgical intervention is sometimes required for rheumatic heart disease but typically is not necessary until adulthood.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEchocardiography in Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease:
    Subtitle of host publicationFrom Fetus to Adult
    Place of PublicationUK
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)9781118742440
    ISBN (Print)9780470674642
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2016


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