How Rheumatic Fever Can Turn Into Rheumatic Heart Disease Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Rheumatic heart disease is caused by Rheumatic Fever or group a streptococci. It consists of "cardiac inflammation" accompanied by scarring which itself is a reaction to the autoimmune system fighting the group A streptococci. The myocardium, endocardium, and epicardium are each affected in turn. In the chronic stage, Rheumatic heart disease results in valvular fibrosis (Burk, 2013).

The pathophysiology of Rheumatic heart disease is as follows: The causative agent is group A streptococci. It develops into strep throat, which if untreated can turn into Rheumatic fever. At this point, the individual suffers inflammation of the layers of the heart as well as the mitral valve. Vegetation also begins to develop. This will lead to valvula regurgitation plus stenosis. The result of all of this is heart failure (Burke, 2010).

Rheumatic fever typically occurs in individuals between the ages of 5 and 25, so it is neither a newborn's disease nor an elderly person's disease. It is most commonly seen in "children and adolescents" between the ages of 5-15, in countries that are considered to be "underdeveloped," that is, they do not have ready access to antibiotics (Burke, 2010).

The treatment modalities of Rheumatic heart disease consist of the following:

Non-pharmacological treatment consists of adequate rest periods, which can facilitate the prevention of fatigue. It is important that the patient allow the body to rest. Another non-pharmacological treatment is the suggestion that a parent accompany the child during procedures so as to ensure that the child is not unnecessarily upset by being alone. Supplying oxygen may also be a non-pharmacological treatment in order to help the patient to breath. Fluids could also be replace so that the body is replenished with electrolytes, which support circulation and perfusion.

Pharmacological treatment modalities consist of: the administering of antibiotics, which attack the infection. This may be penicillin or erythromycin and may need to be administered for a number of years (Wallace, 2014). However, surgery might also be needed if there is a severe mitral or aortic valve dysfunction. This would consist of valve replacement or valvuloplasty or commissurotomy, which is a procedure to open a valve that has become too narrow. Valvuloplasty is a procedure that is designed to improve blood flow using a catheter through a valve that is too narrow. Valve replacement requires the mechanical replacement of a valve.

In summation, Rheumatic heart disease is caused by Rheumatic fever, a condition that…

Sources Used in Documents:


Burke, A. (2013). Pathology of Rheumatic Heart Disease. Medscape. Retrieved from

Wallace, M. (2014). Rheumatic Fever Medication. Medscape. Retrieved from

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