Definition and causes
Rheumatic fever occurs in accordance with the progress of an infection, sore throat usually with streptococci bacteria. Rheumatic fever is because the body's immune response provides an inadequate response to the infection. This response shows the weeks after the infection is over, most commonly in the form of general symptoms like fever and joint pain. Rheumatic fever is the most common cause of narrowing of the heart mitralklap (mitral stenosis).
Rheumatic fever is rare in Denmark after the introduction of effective antibiotic treatment, but is a major problem in developing countries. Mode seen most frequently in children 5-15 years of age.
Symptoms of rheumatic fever
The symptoms of rheumatic fever occurs around. 3 weeks of the underlying infection is over. There is general symptoms such as fever and a variable symptom picture, which can involve the heart, joints, skin and brain.
- Citation: Symptoms of context is easier to recognize. There is redness, warmth, swelling and tenderness, especially knee, hip and ankle joint. Finger and wrist may also be affected. Usually involved several steps at a time, and there areasymmetryIe. it is rare that example. both knee attacked simultaneously. The symptoms can "jump" from part to part. There is usually improve after 2-7 days and there is no lasting damage to the joints.
- Skin: There may be a skin rash.
- Brain: Rarely symptoms of central nervous system in the form of involuntary movements and loss of muscle and coordination. Psychiatric symptoms also seen.
- The heart: Narrowing of the heart mitralklap gives no early symptoms (see below).
Precautions and diagnosis
The diagnosis made in the light of the above symptoms and can be supported by blood tests. These may include seen elevated levels of antibodies against streptococci. Rheumatic fever is contagious not.
Treatment of rheumatic fever
In acute cases are treated with antibiotics. Ledsymptomerne can be treated with painkillers and inflammation retardant preparations, for example. Acetylsalicylic acid. In severe cases can be treated with adrenal cortical hormones, which inhibits the immune defense response.
Select and complications
After over rheumatic fever symptoms disappear from the joints and skin, and avoid permanent damage. A major complication in the longer term is mitralklappen narrowing of the heart. This is earlier than 2 years after onset of rheumatic fever, and most remain asymptomatic for another ten years. However, it can develop into chronic heart disease, which at worst can be debilitating and life-threatening. The risk of this complication is larger by several attacks of rheumatic fever.