Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Underlying Cause Types Anatomy

Acute Rheumatic Heart Disease Underlying Cause

Rheumatic heart disease is caused by an infection with Streptococcal bacteria, which are responsible for strep throat infections. For some reason, after the Streptococcal infection, the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissue. Inflammation occurs in multiple areas of the body, including the joints, heart, skin, and central nervous system.

Damage to the heart may lead to mitral regurgitation, mitral stenosis, cardiac arrhythmias, pericarditis, myocarditis, or congestive heart failure. A similar process can occur in the kidneys, which may lead to kidney disease or kidney failure.

Continue to Acute Rheumatic Heart Disease Types

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acute Rheumatic Heart Disease References
  1. Carapetis JR, McDonald M, Wilson NJ. Acute rheumatic fever. Lancet. 2005 Jul 9-15;366(9480):155-68. [16005340]
  2. De Rosa G, Pardeo M, Stabile A, Rigante D. Rheumatic heart disease in children: from clinical assessment to therapeutical management. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2006 May-Jun;10(3):107-10. [16875042]
  3. Guilherme L, Ramasawmy R, Kalil J. Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease: genetics and pathogenesis. Scand J Immunol. 2007 Aug-Sep;66(2-3):199-207. [17635797]
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