Acute rheumatic fever

Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) develops as a complication of primary infections and infestations: tonsillitis, pharyngitis, dental caries. Pathology is a reaction to the production of antibodies to the bacteria that causes the disease. The cells of the body are similar in antigenic structure because of what they are affected with alien agents.

Risk factors and causes

ORL develops after 2 – 3 weeks after treatment of the underlying disease. Most often the disease is observed among children in school and adolescence and affects the heart, brain, skin. Risk factors include:

  • Female gender — girls have the disease occurs 2.5 times more often.
  • Rheumatism as a concomitant disease.
  • Frequent infectious pathologies.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Hypothermia.
  • Prematurity (when the disease of young children).
  • Accommodation in places with adverse conditions — cold countries with high humidity.
  • Often stay in places of a big congestion of people (schools, universities, hospitals, etc.).


First ORL (a few weeks after primary infection) occurs in a latent period of up to three weeks. This stage is distinguished by an almost asymptomatic. Some patients complain of pain in the joints, slight malaise and a slight rise in temperature (up to 37 – 38 degrees). In this period to detect FRA using the General analysis of blood. One of the indicators – the speed of subsidence of erythrocytes – increased due to the inflammatory process in the body.

Because the disease most often affects the heart, at the second stage the main manifestations of acute rheumatic fever are observed by the cardiovascular system. Patients concerned about chest pain, increased heart rate, shortness of breath during physical exertion. Often marked by fever and hyperthermia (increased body temperature).
Лихорадка острая ревматическая
Affects the joints. The patient feels pain and periodic swelling in the locations of the large (ankles, knee, elbow, etc.) joints, it is difficult to exercise due to limited movement. The skin over the affected areas becomes red and hot to the touch. Cough, hoarse voice and conjunctivitis are not marked. Among the other possible symptoms in later stages or in severe course of the disease are distinguished:

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  • sweating;
  • nosebleeds;
  • arrhythmia;
  • the growth of the affected joint in sizes;
  • headache;
  • psychiatric disorders: crying, irritability, nervousness, etc.;
  • slurred speech;
  • pink ring-shaped rash on the skin that do not itch.

A positive phenomenon is considered to be high speed and reversibility of the pathological process. When time started anti-inflammatory therapy joint pain lasting a few hours or days.

Treatment of acute rheumatic fever

The patient hospitalization compliance with bed rest for two to three weeks, even if symptoms disappear disease. This is due to the fact that you must completely «out» of pathogens from the body, to prevent the development of fever and possible complications of the disease.

It is important to follow the diet. The diet should be complete, with a normal ratio of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and micro-, macroelements. It is recommended to limit salty foods and to remove salt from the diet. Some patients are prescribed a diet with a high protein content.

Medical treatment consists of antibiotics, glucocorticosteroid hormones and anti-inflammatory drugs. Antibiotics are necessary for the elimination of bacterial pathogens, and anti-inflammatory drugs to eliminate inflammation in the joints. Surgical treatment is given in the later stages, when patients are developing cardiovascular disease. Surgery is necessary in case of heart disease and severity of heart failure.


Despite the fact that acute rheumatic fever can be successfully treated within several weeks, in the absence of treatment the disease causes a number of severe complications. ORL can become chronic, causing heart disease, chronic heart failure or seal the flaps of the valves. The inflammatory process provokes arrhythmias, which can significantly disrupt the cardiac rhythm.

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Acute rheumatic fever increases the risk of infective endocarditis (inflammation of inner walls of the heart). This is due to the ingress of pathogens of main diseases in the circulatory system, and blood and in the affected heart valves. The disease can be successfully treated in the early stages. In addition, the Outlook remains positive to the development of cardiovascular pathologies and heart disease.

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How to prevent the development of disease in young children, often suffering from a cold? You first need to follow a normal (20 – 22 degrees) the temperature of the air in the room, dress your baby for the weather. Excellent prevention of ORL is to protect from a sore throat, pharyngitis and dental caries. This winter, take the vitamins, and bracing means and the insulated housing, and throughout the year — eat right, walk in the fresh air and tempered.

To prevent disease is always easier than to treat its consequences. Remember that timely treatment can help avoid serious complications.