Rheumatic fever an inflammatory disease which Effects the heart
Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine and Therapy is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal with an aim to provide rapid and reliable source of information on current discoveries and current developments in the field of cardiovascular. It aims to be an internationally leading journal which keeps cardiologist, internists and physicians up-to-date by publishing clinically relevant and evidence-based research.
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. Signs and symptoms include fever, multiple painful joints, involuntary muscle movements, and occasionally a characteristic non-itchy rash known as erythema marginatum. The heart is involved in about half of the cases. Damage to the heart valves, known as rheumatic heart disease (RHD), usually occurs after repeated attacks but can sometimes occur after one. The damaged valves may result in heart failure, atrial fibrillation and infection of the valves. Infection of the throat by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes. If the infection is untreated rheumatic fever can occur in up to three percent of people. The underlying mechanism is believed to involve the production of antibodies against a person's own tissues. Due to their genetics, some people are more likely to get the disease when exposed to the bacteria than others. Other risk factors include malnutrition and poverty. Diagnosis of RF is often based on the presence of signs and symptoms in combination with evidence of a recent streptococcal infection.
The disease typically develops two to four weeks after a throat infection. Symptoms include: fever, painful joints with those joints affected changing with time, involuntary muscle movements, and occasionally a characteristic non-itchy rash known as erythema marginatum. The heart is involved in about half of the cases. Damage to the heart valves usually occurs only after multiple attacks but may occasionally occur after a single case of RF. The damaged valves may result in heart failure and also increase the risk of atrial fibrillation and infection of the valves.
Rheumatic fever can be prevented by effectively and promptly treating strep throat with antibiotics.
In those who have previously had rheumatic fever, antibiotics in a preventative manner are occasionally recommended. As of 2017 the evidence to support long term antibiotics in those with underlying disease is poor.
The American Heart Association suggests that dental health be maintained, and that people with a history of bacterial endocarditis, a heart transplant, artificial heart valves, or "some types of congenital heart defects" may wish to consider long-term antibiotic prophylaxis.
Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine and Therapy,