Rheumatic Fever - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your rheumatic fever?

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What are symptoms and signs of rheumatic fever?

As mentioned above, there are quite a few symptoms associated with rheumatic fever. These include

  1. carditis (inflammation of the heart), which occurs in 60% of patients is the most severe symptom of ARF and can result in permanent damage to the heart valves, and can be life threatening;
  2. polyarthritis or migratory polyarthritis (joint inflammation), which usually presents first and occurs in 45% of patients and most commonly affects the large joints such as the knees;
  3. Aschoff bodies (subcutaneous skin nodules), which are firm, painless lumps most frequently found around the wrists, elbows and knees. These are present in only 2% of patients;
  4. erythema marginatum (rash), which occurs in 5% of patients and often described as a "serpiginous" with a wavy and snakelike appearance which has distinct erythematous (red) borders or "margins";
  5. Sydenham's chorea (abnormal movements) occurs in 30% of patients and is a movement disorder comprising of purposeless volatile movements of the face and arms. This was also called St. Vitus' dance, which was named after the patron saint of the "mania dancers" of the middle ages; and
  6. fever is often present during the acute infection with group A strep and is present during the initial phase of rheumatic fever.
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