Clinical assessment and echocardiography follow-up results of the children with acute rheumatic fever

Ahmet Basturk, Kazim Oztarhan, Sultan Kavuncuoglu, Cemal Polat


Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is an inflammatory collagenous tissue disease which shows its cardinal signs in joints, heart, skin and nervous system while affecting whole connective tissue system more or less. This study was conducted in order to investigate the clinical pattern and severity of ARF, echocardiographic findings and the course of the patients with heart valve involvement by studying the clinical and laboratory aspects of the patients diagnosed with ARF according to updated Jones criteria. The study included 214 patients diagnosed with ARF for the first time between January 2005 and May 2008. All patients were scanned with doppler echocardiography (ECHO) between certain intervals. Severity of carditis was grouped into 3 groups of mild, moderate and severe. The frequency of carditis was 57.9%, arthritis was 73.4%, chorea was 11.7% and erythema marginatum was 0.9% but no subcutaneous nodules. Recovery was observed in 22% of the cases of isolated aortic insufficiency (AI), 50% of the cases with isolated mitral insufficiency (MI) and 80% of the cases with mitral and aortic insufficiencies together (MI+AI). Recovery in isolated MI was significantly much more than recovery in isolated AI. However, recovery in AI was significantly much more than in MI in cases of mitral and aortic insufficiencies together. In conclusion, ARF is a cause of acquired and preventable heart disease and it can be reversed through right diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Isolated mitral insufficiency, isolated aortic insufficiency and both mitral and aortic insufficiency are observed during a valvular disease. Remission among valvular diseases are most commonly in those with mitral insufficiency and remissions in both mitral and aortic insufficiency occur most commonly in aortic ones. Regular prophylaxis is the key element for long term prevention of patients with ARF.


Acute rheumatic fever; echocardiography; child; carditis; mitral insufficiency; aortic insufficiency

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