A possible comeback of rheumatic fever in Northern Italy

M. De Sanctis, Vlasta Fesslova, S. Mannarino, P. Salice, G. Sersale, F. Corona, M. Bardare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. In the winter of 1999-2000 we observed an increase in the incidence of rheumatic fever (RF) compared to the average of 4.5 cases per year during previous years. Objective. Our study aimed at analysing the clinical characteristics of cases with RF, the entity of cardiac involvement and the evolution at follow-up. Methods. RF was diagnosed in 17 patients (aged 5-13 years, mean 8.8 ± 2.5 years). The diagnosis was early in 8 children (group A) and late in 9 - more than 4 weeks after the onset of symptoms (group B). All patients underwent complete cardiological and echocardiographic examination at the time of diagnosis and during follow-up (mean length of follow-up 11 months, range 2-17 months). Results. 14/17 patients (82%) had carditis: 6 mitral valve disease (43%), 2 isolated aortic involvement (14%) and 6 (43%) had combined mitroaortic involvement. Patients in group B had more severe valvular lesions than those in group A. Valvular lesions improved rapidly in all patients in group A, normalizing completely in 2, while all patients in group B still have mild cardiac involvement. Conclusions. Carditis was the main clinical feature in our series, with more severe involvement in children who were diagnosed late and who showed a less favourable evolution at follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Aortic valve disease
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Rheumatic fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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