Cardiology in the Young

Review Article

The logic for extending the use of echocardiography beyond childhood to detect subclinical rheumatic heart disease*

L. George Veasya1 c1, Lloyd Y. Tania1 and LuAnn Minicha1

a1 Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

Abstract

Rheumatic heart disease is the only residual morbidity, and the sole cause of mortality, from rheumatic fever. Echocardiography is ideally suited to confirm and follow the course of rheumatic heart disease. Additionally, both minimal valvar pathology in children, and extensive valvar pathology in adults, may not cause a murmur and can be detected only by echocardiography. Whenever possible, echocardiography should be routinely employed for management of patients with rheumatic fever or suspected rheumatic fever.

(Accepted November 23 2008)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence to: L. George Veasy, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, University of Utah School of Medicine (Attention: Teresa Jones-Osborn), 615 Arapeen Drive, Suite 100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108, United States of America. Tel: (801) 587-3905; Fax: (801) 587-9607; E-mail: george.veasy@hsc.utah.edu

Footnotes

* Note from the editor: To retain uniformity with our editorial style, throughout this manuscript the stylistic editor has pluralised “criterion”, and some of the bacteriums producing enodcarditis, by adding an “s”, or “es”, to the singular noun.