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Rheumatic fever 

Rheumatic fever
Rheumatic fever
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

Andrew Steer


Rheumatic fever is an autoimmune inflammatory condition that follows infection with the group A streptococcus. It is a common condition in tropical developing countries, but has become a rare disease in developed temperate countries. The most frequent clinical presentation of rheumatic fever is fever and arthritis, often with carditis. The carditis, which manifests as a valvulitis, can progress to rheumatic valvular disease. Rheumatic heart disease is a chronic and disabling condition associated with considerable morbidity and premature mortality. Management of rheumatic fever includes treatment of the inflammation of the disease using aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and assessment and management of any cardiac involvement. Secondary prophylaxis is the mainstay of long-term management and patients usually require antibiotic prophylaxis for many years after the initial episode.

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