Rheumatic heart disease

Rheumatic heart disease

What is Rheumatic heart disease? What are its causes and symptoms? How can it be treated? In this article, we will come to know about this disease.

What is rheumatic heart disease?

The dysfunction of heart valves due to rheumatic fever is called rheumatic heart disease. This disease is very major and increasing day by day. It can cause permanent damage to heart valves which can lead to a heart attack later. An immune response can cause inflammation in the body which can lead to heart failure. It is very vigorous in developing or under developing countries because of the low economy and lack of measurements. It is very rare in developed countries. The major cause of this disease is rheumatic fever. 

Rheumatic heart disease

Rheumatic fever can occur at any age. It is more common in kids from 5 years old to 15 years old. Most children with repeated treatment of streptococcal infection are at risk of this disease. We’ll discuss its causes down below.

Causes of rheumatic heart disease

Rheumatic fever is the main cause of this disease. This fever can affect many connective tissues. It affects heart valves more than other tissues. Rheumatic fever causes inflammation of heart valves. This results in the narrowing of valves making it harder for the heart to work normally. This process may take years to develop but it can lead to heart failure. It shows different symptoms which we can discuss in the lower paragraph.

Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease 

Rheumatic fever is the main cause of this disease. Its symptoms vary from one to other. This fever shows its symptom between 1st week to 6th week after the throat infection. The most common symptoms of rheumatic fever are as follows 

  • Fever
  • Swollen, reddish, and painful joints
  • Rash on chest, back, and abdomen
  • Difficulty in breathing and discomfort chest
  • Weakness 

Rheumatic heart disease

The symptoms of this disease are as follows

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling

Diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease

This disease can be diagnosed by following tests

  • Echocardiogram(Echo).

    It is the most common and useful method of diagnosing this disease. In this method, sound waves are used to check the chamber and valves of the heart.

  • Electrocardiogram(ECG).

    It records the strength and electrical activity of the heart. It can also be used to find the damaged tissues in the heart.

  • Chest X-ray.

    A chest x-ray is mostly used for checking the lungs and the size of the heart.

  • Cardiac MRI.

    It is mostly used for taking a detailed picture of the heart. 

  • Blood test.

    We can find the infection by using a blood test

Treatment of rheumatic heart disease

Damage to heart valves is permanent. There is no cure for rheumatic heart disease. Patients with acute this disease require surgery. Depending on the condition of the patient, medication may also be referred. Blood-thinning medicines are specifically used to stop the making of clots in the blood. Only in case of a severe condition, the patient undergoes surgery to repair or replace the valves of the heart.

Rheumatic heart disease

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To reduce inflammation anti-inflammatory drugs can be used. We can also control it at the start by taking antibiotics. It can keep the rheumatic fever away.

Complications of rheumatic heart disease 

The complications of this disease are as follow:

  • This disease can lead to heart failure due to the narrowing of valves. 
  • Complication during pregnancy and delivery due to a heart problem.
  • Due to the blockage of valves and chambers of the heart, blood vessels can be ruptured. It results in heart failure.

Prevention from rheumatic heart disease

As we know that the major cause of rheumatic heart disease is rheumatic fever. Taking antibiotics can treat strep throat which can prevent rheumatic fever.

If someone shows the sign of having rheumatic fever, it is very important for him/her to take quality measures and use antibiotics regularly. This could prevent other streptococcal infections. If we don’t take precautionary measures that can be dangerous for us. If the condition becomes severe immediately consult your doctor and that could be life-saving.


This disease is a major endemic in this world and this is increasing gradually. This is a serious situation. It is more common in younger ones. We should take precautionary measures to prevent it. If the patient’s condition is severe consult your doctor right away. We hope to now you got to know about this dangerous disease. If you have any questions you can ask in the comment section below.

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