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Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease in Children

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Abstract

Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and its sequelae, Rheumatic heart disease (RHD), contribute significantly to the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Generally considered a disease of poverty and poor socio-economic conditions, RHD affects the population at the most productive phase of their life. The diagnostic criteria for ARF have been constantly updated to improve the sensitivity. The diagnosis of ARF was entirely clinical however, recently echocardiographic evidence has been added as a major criterion. The disease seems to be on the decline in India, but recent studies using echocardiography have shown high prevalence of RHD among school children. The focus of management has been on prompt recognition and treatment of streptococcal pharyngitis and preventing recurrences of ARF with long-term antibiotic prophylaxis. However, emphasis should be placed on the appropriate management of patients with established RHD, in order to limit the RHD related mortality.

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Author information

BA did literature search and wrote the draft manuscript. SR guided BA and finalised the manuscript. SR is the guarantor for this paper.

Correspondence to Sivasubramanian Ramakrishnan.

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Arvind, B., Ramakrishnan, S. Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease in Children. Indian J Pediatr (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12098-019-03128-7

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Keywords

  • Acute rheumatic fever
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Group A streptococcus
  • Modified Jones criteria