Rheumatic Heart Disease

Rheumatic heart disease is damage to one or more heart valves that remains after an episode of acute rheumatic fever is resolved. It is caused by an episode or recurrent  episodes of Acute rheumatic  fever, where the heart has become inflamed. The heart valves can remain stretched and/or scarred, and normal blood flow through damaged valves is interrupted. Blood may flow backward through stretched valves that do not close properly, or may be blocked due to scarred valves not opening properly. When the heart is damaged in this way, the heart valves are unable to function adequately, and heart surgery may be required. Untreated, RHD causes heart failure and those affected are at risk of arrhythmias, stroke, endocarditis and complications of pregnancy. These conditions cause progressive disability, reduce quality of life and can cause premature death in young adults. Heart surgery can manage some of these problems and prolong life but does not cure RHD.

  • Pediatric Rheumatology
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases

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