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All about rheumatic heart disease and rheumatic fever causes of rheumatic fever symptoms of rheumatic fever diagnosis of rheumatic fever treatment for rheumatic fever

What is rheumatic heart disease and rheumatic fever?

Rheumatic heart disease is a complication of rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever, which results from an untreated strep throat, can damage the heart valves, causing them to fail to close properly or not open enough. When a valve fails to close properly,

it allows blood to leak backward. When a valve does not open enough, the heart must pump harder to force blood through the narrowed opening. When damage to the heart is permanent, the condition is called rheumatic heart disease.

Rheumatic fever is an acute infectious disease that occurs primarily in children and young adults. Although it is not seen often, it is usually diagnosed as a complication arising from other conditions such as streptococcal throat infection and scarlet fever. It is characterised by fever, skin rash, pain and swelling in the joints, and inflammation of the heart membrane and valves.

Rheumatic fever occurs as a delayed consequence of an untreated upper respiratory infection with bacteria belonging to group A streptococci (streptococcal pharyngitis or "strep throat").

Strep throat and scarlet fever are two types of infections that precede rheumatic fever. If a person is not treated effectively with antibiotics for these infections, he or she may have an immune response. The effects of this response can be seen in the heart, joints, brain, and skin. The most serious effect of rheumatic fever is a heart valve defect known as mitral valve prolapse. Rheumatic fever was more common before antibiotics were available to treat infections.

More information on rheumatic heart disease and rheumatic fever

What's rheumatic heart disease and rheumatic fever? - Rheumatic heart disease is a complication of rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is an acute infectious disease.
What causes rheumatic fever? - Rheumatic fever is caused by the body¡¯s immune system acting inappropriately as a complication of strep throat.
What're the symptoms of rheumatic fever? - A number of skin changes are common to rheumatic fever including a rash and small bumps occurring under the skin.
How is rheumatic fever diagnosed? - Diagnosis of rheumatic fever is done by taking a sample of the patient's blood to test it for antibodies to the streptococcus germs.
What's the treatment for rheumatic fever? - Rheumatic fever is typically treated with antibiotics. Penicillin is the first line of treatment for rheumatic fever.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005