Rheumatic heart disease is a common and potentially serious complication that can occur in cases of rheumatic fever.
In rheumatic heart disease, inflammation causes the heart's valves to become damaged and stiffened, disrupting the normal flow of blood through the heart.
It's estimated that around one in three people with a history of rheumatic fever will go on to develop rheumatic heart disease.
It can take many years for these symptoms to develop after a previous episode of rheumatic fever.
Mild rheumatic heart disease can usually be treated with medication, such as ACE inhibitors, which relax your arteries, making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.
In some cases, rheumatic heart disease can lead to atrial fibrillation ,a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.
Atrial fibrillation can lead to an increased risk of a stroke . Treatment may involve medication to control the heart rate or rhythm, and medication to prevent a stroke.
In more severe cases of rheumatic heart disease, the heart becomes so damaged that it can't pump enough blood around the body. This is known as heart failure .
Heart failure that occurs in people with rheumatic heart disease may require surgery, either to replace a damaged valve with an artificial one or expand the valve with a tiny balloon.
Rheumatic fever (RF) is an inflammatory disease that can involve the heart, joints, skin, and brain. The disease typically develops two to four weeks after a streptococcal throat infection.
The symptoms of rheumatic fever usually develop one to five weeks after a streptococcal throat infection, including arthritis, heart inflammation (carditis) and Sydenham chorea, which causes inflammation of the nerves.
The main cause for this disease is the beta-haemolytic Streptococcus of group A, which is found in common infectious sites such as the mouth; in dental granulomas, dental abscesses, paradontosis, and other infections such as chronic tonsillitis.
Rheumatic fever can cause many different symptoms, hence a type of checklist known as the "Jones Criteria" is used to help diagnose it. The major signs and symptoms are: inflammation of the heart (carditis) with symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain; pain and swelling (arthritis) affecting multiple joints; jerky involuntary body movements and emotional outbursts ( Sydenham's chorea); a painless, non-itchy skin rash (erythema marginatum); bumps or lumps that develop underneath the skin.
Asrheumatic fever is very rare, you may also be referred to a doctor with experience of treating the condition, so a treatment plan can be drawn up. This may involve visiting a hospital or specialist clinic in the area. Rheumatic fever is treated including using anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics and plenty of bed rest.
Rheumatic heart disease is a common and potentially serious complication that can occur in cases of rheumatic fever. In rheumatic heart disease, inflammation causes the heart's valves to become damaged and stiffened, disrupting the normal flow of blood through the heart.