What is rheumatic heart disease?
Acute rheumatic fever (ARF), both single and recurrent, can leave damage cardiac damage to one or more heart valves. The damage may remain and lead to Rheumatic heart disease (RHD), which can cause morbidity and mortality, especially in poor settings.
The heart valves can remain stretched and/or scarred. Therefore, normal blood flow through damaged valves is interrupted. The blood flow will either go backward or stay blocked due to the poor functioning of scarred valves. In this case, heart surgery will be required.
If the disease remained untreated, RHD can cause heart failure, arrhythmias, stroke, endocarditis, progressive disability, premature death in young adults and complications of pregnancy. Although some of these diseases can be managed through heart surgery, RHD can’t be cured in this way.
Keywords: acute rheumatic heart disease