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Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia
Print version ISSN 0482-5004
TERRERI, Maria Teresa Ramos Ascensão et al. Clinical and demographic features of 193 patients with rheumatic fever. Rev. Bras. Reumatol. [online]. 2006, vol.46, n.6, pp. 385-390. ISSN 0482-5004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0482-50042006000600005.
OBJECTIVE: the aim of this study was to analyze the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with acute rheumatic fever (ARF), followed between 1995 and 2005. METHODS: we retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 193 patients with ARF diagnosed according to the revised Jones criteria (1992). Only the patients that initiated the follow-up in the first two months of onset were included, in order to reduce the diagnostic mistake. Demographic, clinical and laboratorial data and echocardiographic abnormalities were considered. RESULTS: four out of 193 (2.1%) were younger than 5 years old. The most frequent clinical manifestation was arthritis (70.5%) followed by carditis (50.8%) and chorea (35.2%). Atypical arthritis occurred in 64 (33.2%) patients characterized by monoarthritis (10.9%), or involvement of unusual joints (59.4%), or duration longer than 6 weeks (18.8%), or poor response to salicylates (10.9%). Regarding the cardiac involvement we observed subclinical carditis in 19% of the patients. Clinical carditis presented most frequently as mitral involvement (regurgitation) (96.9%). Chorea was present in 35% of the patients. Regarding lab work, anemia (p=0.01), erythrocyte sedimentation rate > 100 mm (p= 0.04) and elevation of a1 acid glycoprotein (p=0.04) were statistically more frequent in patients with carditis compared to patients without this involvement. Fifteen percent of patients experienced recurrences. CONCLUSION: 1) rheumatic fever is still prevalent in our environment; 2) atypical arthritis is a common finding and must be taken into account in the ARF diagnosis; 3) subclinical carditis must be considered in our patients; 4) the frequency of Sydenham's chorea is higher than that described in the literature; 5) recurrences are frequent in our patients.
Keywords : rheumatic fever; subclinical carditis; atypical arthritis; chorea.