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Acute Rheumatic Fever: An Evidence-Based Approach To Diagnosis And Initial Management

August 2016

Abstract

Acute rheumatic fever is an inflammatory reaction involving the joints, heart, and nervous system that occurs after a group A streptococcal infection. It typically presents as a febrile illness with clinical manifestations that could include arthritis, carditis, skin lesions, or abnormal movements. Of these, the cardiac manifestations of acute rheumatic fever are most concerning, as children may present in acute heart failure and may go on to develop valvular insufficiency or stenosis. Because this is a rare presentation to emergency departments in developed countries, it is crucial for clinicians to keep a broad differential when presented with clinical presentations suspicious for acute rheumatic fever. This issue focuses on the clinical evaluation and treatment of patients with acute rheumatic fever by offering a thorough review of the literature on diagnosis and recommendations on appropriate treatment.

Key words: Acute rheumatic fever, ARF, rheumatic heart disease, RHD, group A Streptococcus infection, GAS, carditis, polyarthritis, chorea, erythema marginatum, subcutaneous nodules, fever, arthralgia, Jones criteria, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, ESR, C-reactive protein, CRP, pediatric, children

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Last Modified: 08/16/2017
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