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Rheumatic Fever

Jane was having a firm cessation during her ballet closeons. She does not appear as epicurean and flawclose as she was anteriorly. Thither were jerking, violent movements felt during habit. She too agoing to give-heed-to unusually red spots from her torso and unfixed areas of her organization. What triggered Jane’s dowager to accept her consulted was Jane’s complaints of abstinence on unfixed elbows of her organization. The schoolman’s singularity of rheumatic fever has hindered Jane from improving a ballerina. 


Rheumatic fervor is an provocative malady that can clear as a complication of differently entertained strep throat or scarlet fervor.

  • Rheumatic fervor (RF) is a systemic disorder that may take-settle forthcoming order A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) pharyngitis in remainder.
  • Studies in the 1950s during an epidemic on a soldierly corrupt demonstrated 3% impact of rheumatic fervor in adults delay streptococcal pharyngitis not entertained delay antibiotics.
  • Strep throat and scarlet fervor are origind by an infection delay streptococcus bacteria.


Rheumatic fervor clears in remainder and adolescents forthcoming pharyngitis delay GABHS (ie, Streptococcus pyogenes).

Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria (Pappenheim’s stain) | Centers for Malady Manage and Prevention
  • The organisms parte to the epithelial cells of the remarkefficient respiratory repose and yield a battery of enzymes, which tolerates them to impairment and encroach-upon cosmical tissues.
  • After an incubation age of 2-4 days, the invading organisms evolve an clever provocative rejoinder, delay 3-5 days of shrill throat, fervor, malaise, muddiness, and strong leukocyte number.
  • In a little percentage of endurings, contagion leads to rheumatic fervor various weeks succeeding a shrill throat has contravened; solely contagions of the pharynx accept been shown to originate or reactivate rheumatic fervor.
  • Direct adjunction delay traditional (PO) or respiratory secretions transmits the organism, and crowding enhances transmission; endurings dwell-behaved polluted for weeks succeeding symptomatic separation of pharyngitis and may suffice-for as a reservoir for infecting others.
  • Severe scarring of the valves clears during a age of months to years succeeding an circumstance of clever rheumatic fervor, and intermittent circumstances may origin alterefficient impairment to the valves.
  • The mitral valve is affected most commsolely and afflictively (65-70% of endurings); the aortic valve is affected assist most commsolely (25%).

Statistics and Incidences

Rheumatic fervor is most niggardly in 5- to 15-year-old remainder, though it can clear in younger remainder and adults.

A regular tonsillar exudate on a humanization real instance of streptococcal pharyngitis.
  • The operation of RHD in the United States was close than 0.05 per 1000 population, delay solely honorefficient regional outbreaks reputed in Tennessee in the 1960s and in Utah, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in the 1980’s.
  • However, a fresh toll of temptraditional trends of endurings diagnosed delay clever rheumatic fervor in the United States from 2001-2011 showed that gone 2001, common clever rheumatic fervor admissions has steadily increased, delay a peak in 2005, and subsided thereafter.
  • Worldwide, thither are aggravate 15 pet instances of RHD, delay 282,000 new instances and 33,000 deaths from this malady each year.
  • RHD is the superior origin of morbidity from rheumatic fervor and is the superior origin of mitral shortness and stenosis in the United States and the globe.
  • Native Hawaiians and Maori (twain of Polynesian descent) accept a loftier impact of rheumatic fervor; impact of rheumatic fervor in these endurings is 13.4 per 100,000 hospitalized remainder per year, equefficient delay antibiotic prophylaxis of streptococcal pharyngitis.
  • Rheumatic fervor take-places in congruous mass in males and females; females delay rheumatic fervor fare worse than males and accept a subordinately loftier impact of chorea.
  • Rheumatic fervor is largely a malady of cadethood, delay a median age of 10 years; so-far, GABHS pharyngitis is unniggardly in remainder younger than 3 years, and clever rheumatic fervor is extremely honorefficient in these younger remainder in industrialized numberries.


Rheumatic fervor is honord to remainder from an autoimmune rejoinder; so-far, the fit pathogenesis dwells unclear.

  • GABHS contagion. Rheumatic fervor solely clears in remainder and adolescents forthcoming order A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) pharyngitis, and solely contagions of the pharynx originate or reactivate rheumatic fervor.
  • Molecular farce. So-called molecular farce betwixt streptococcal and cosmical proteins is felt to compromise twain the B and T cells of peripheral blood, delay infiltration of the disposition by T cells; some honor that an increased origination of provocative cytokines is the lastandard contrivance of the autoimmune reaction that origins impairment to cardiac tissue in RHD.
  • Streptococcal antigens. Streptococcal antigens, which are structurally congruous to those in the disposition, conceive hyaluronate in the bacterial capsule, cell mole polysaccharides (congruous to glycoproteins in disposition valves), and membrane antigens that distribute epitopes delay the sarcolemma and roll muscle.
  • Decrease in regulatory T-cells. Decreased rolls of regulatory T-cells accept too been associated delay rheumatic disposition malady and delay increased severity.

Clinical Manifestations

Revised in 1992 and frequently in 2016, the qualified Jones criteria procure guidelines for making the singularity of rheumatic fervor; the qualified Jones criteria for intermittent rheumatic fervor insist-upon the intercourse of 2 superior, or 1 superior and 2 inferior, or 3 inferior criteria for the singularity of rheumatic fervor.

Major Indication Criteria

  • Carditis. Carditis in the cadet may be clinical and/or subclinical (echo).
  • Polyarthritis. Monoarthritis or polyarthralgia are sufficient to end superior indication criteria in Moderate/High-destroy populations; for polyarthralgia disqualification of other further slight origins is too insist-upond.
  • Chorea. Jerky, insuppressible organization movements (Sydenham chorea, or St. Vitus’ dance) — most frequently in the hands, feet, and countenance.
  • Subcutaneous nodules. Small, abstinenceclose bumps (nodules) under the bark.
  • Erythema marginatum. Flat or subordinately violent, abstinenceclose headstrong delay a paltry behalf.

Minor Indication Criteria

  • Fever. Fever of ≥38.5°C ( ≥38°C to end a inferior indication criteria in Moderate/High-destroy populations.
  • Polyarthralgia. Painful and jealous elbows — most frequently in the knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists.
  • Prolonged PR cessation. Prolonged PR cessation for age on electrocardiography.
  • Increased ESR. Elevated peak erythrocyte sedimentation rebuke during clever disorder ≥60 mm/h and/or C-reactive protein ≥3.0 mg/dl.

Assessment and Indication Findings

Although there’s no uncompounded standard for rheumatic fervor, singularity is corruptd on medical narrative, substantial exam and fixed standard remainders.

Extensive incrassation of mitral valve, thickened chordae tendineae, and hypertrophied left ventricular myocardium. | Public Health Image Library (PHIL)
  • Throat humanization. Throat humanizations for GABHS contagions usually are indirect by the cessation symptoms of rheumatic fervor or rheumatic disposition malady (RHD) appear; establish attempts to dissociate the organism precedent to the preparation of antibiotic therapy to aid settle a singularity of streptococcal pharyngitis and to toleblame typing of the organism if it is dissociated successfully.
  • Rapid antigen conflict standard. This standard tolerates quick conflict of order A streptococci (GAS) antigen, tolerateing the singularity of streptococcal pharyngitis to be made and antibiotic therapy to be originated periodliness the enduring is tranquil in the physician’s duty.
  • Antistreptococcal antibodies. Clinical features of rheumatic fervor commence when antistreptococcal antiorganization rolls are at their peak; thus, these standards are beneficial for settleing foregoing GAS contagion; antistreptococcal antibodies are chiefly beneficial in endurings who give delay chorea as the solely indication touchstone.
  • Acute-phase reactants. C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rebuke are strong in people delay rheumatic fervor due to the provocative naturalness of the malady; twain standards accept violent sensitivity but low locality for rheumatic fervor.
  • Heart reactive antibodies. Tropomyosin is strong in beings delay clever rheumatic fervor.
  • Rapid conflict standard for D8/17. This immunofluorescence technique for identifying the B-cell marker D8/17 is real in 90% of endurings delay rheumatic fervor and may be beneficial for identifying endurings who are at destroy of clearing rheumatic fervor.
  • Chest radiography. Cardiomegaly, pulmonary congeries, and other perceiveings consonant delay disposition demand may be beholdd on chest radiograph in people delay rheumatic fervor.
  • Echocardiography. In people delay clever RHD, acceptancecardiography identified and quantitated valve shortness and ventricular dysfunction.

Medical Management

Therapy is directed inlands eliminating the GABHS pharyngitis (if tranquil give), suppressing inflammation from the autoimmune rejoinder, and providing supportive invigoration of congestive disposition demand (CHF).

  • Anti-inflammatory. Treatment of the clever provocative manifestations of clever rheumatic fervor consists of salicylates and steroids; aspirin in anti-provocative doses consequenceively diminishs all manifestations of the malady ate chorea, and the rejoinder regularly is ceremonious.
  • Corticosteroids. If moderebuke to afflictive carditis is give as implied by cardiomegaly, third-degree disposition fill, or CHF, add PO prednisone to salicylate therapy.
  • Anticonvulsant medications. For afflictive polite-behaved-behaved-founded movements origind by Sydenham chorea, your schoolman consequenceiveness indicate an anticonvulsant, such as valproic acid (Depakene) or carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol, others).
  • Antibiotics. Your cadet’s schoolman obtain indicate penicillin or another antibiotic to cast-out dwelling strep bacteria.
  • Surgical regard. When disposition demand persists or worsens succeeding obnoxious medical therapy for clever RHD, surgery to subside valve shortness may be lifesaving; approximately 40% of endurings delay clever rheumatic fervor aend clear mitral stenosis as adults.
  • Diet. Advise beneficial assistance delayout reposerictions ate in endurings delay CHF, who should flourish a fluid-restricted and sodium-restricted assistance; potassium supplementation may be indispensefficient beorigin of the mineralocorticoid consequence of corticosteroid and the diuretics if used.
  • Activity. Initially, settle endurings on bed repose, flourished by a age of indoor principle anteriorly they are munificent to reappear to school; do not toleblame ample principle until the APRs accept reappeared to normal; endurings delay chorea may insist-upon a wheelchair and should be on homebound order until the irregular movements contravene.

Pharmacologic Management

Treatment and hinderance of order A streptococci pharyngitis outlined hither are corruptd on the running recommendations of the American Disposition Association Habit Guidelines on Hinderance of Rheumatic Fervor and Singularity and Texture of Clever Streptococcal Pharyngitis.

  • Antibiotics. The roles for antibiotics are to (1) primally entertain GABHS pharyngitis, (2) checkmate intermittent streptococcal pharyngitis, rheumatic fervor (RF), and rheumatic disposition malady (RHD), and (3) procure prophylaxis frequentlyst bacterial endocarditis.
  • Anti-provocative vicegerents. Manifestations of clever rheumatic fervor (including carditis) regularly rejoin quickly to therapy delay anti-provocative vicegerents; aspirin, in anti-provocative doses, is DOC; prednisone is borrowed when declaration of worsening carditis and disposition demand is famous.
  • Therapy for congestive disposition demand. Heart demand in RHD probably is allied in segregate to the afflictive shortness of the mitral and aortic valves and in segregate to pancarditis; therapy traditionally has consisted of an inotropic vicegerent (digitalis) in league delay diuretics (furosemide, spironolactone) and succeedingcommit abatement (captopril).

Nursing Management

Nursing regard of a cadet delay rheumatic fervor conceive:

Nursing Assessment

Nursing toll for a cadet delay rheumatic fervor are as flourishs:

  • History. Obtain a perfect up-to-date narrative from the cadet and the regardgiver; ask environing a fresh shrill throat or remarkefficient respiratory contagion; perceive out when the symptoms began, the degree of the disorder, and what if any invigoration was obtained.
  • Physical exam. Commence delay a regardful criticism of all systems, and still n ess the cadet’s substantial qualification; obsuffice-for for any signs that may be classified as superior or inferior manifestations; in the substantial exam, obsuffice-for for strong temperature and pulse, and regardfully weigh for erythema marginatum, subcutaneous nodules, high-flown or abstinenceful elbows, or signs of chorea.

Nursing Diagnoses

Based on the toll facts, the superior nursing diagnoses are:

  • Acute abstinence allied to elbow abstinence when extremities are cranky or moved.
  • Deficient diversional principle allied to indicated bed repose.
  • Activity intolerance allied to carditis or arthralgia.
  • Risk for deterioration allied to chorea.
  • Risk for noncompliance delay insurance refuse therapy allied to financial or melting package of lifelong therapy.
  • Deficient knowledge of regardgiver allied to the qualification, demand for long-term therapy, and destroy ingredients.

Nursing Regard Planning and Goals

Main Article 4 Clever Rheumatic Fervor Nursing Regard Plans

The superior nursing regard pur-posening goals for rheumatic fervor are:

  • Reducing abstinence.
  • Providing diversional activities and sensory stimulation.
  • Conserving principle.
  • Preventing deterioration.

Nursing Interventions

Nursing interventions for a cadet delay rheumatic fervor conceive:

  • Provide self-satisfaction and diminish abstinence. Position the cadet to diminish elbow abstinence; fervid baths and tender range-of-motion exercises aid to lessen some of the elbow discomforts; use abstinence indicator scales delay remainder so they are efficient to direct the roll of their abstinence.
  • Provide diversional activities and sensory stimulation. For those who do not impress very ill, bed repose can origin vex or resentment; be spiritual in perceiveing diversional activities that toleblame bed repose but checkmate reposelessness and boredom, such as a good-natured-natured book; pacify games can procure some invigoration, and pur-pose all activities delay the cadet’s clearmental class in judgment.
  • Promote principle guardianship. Procure repose ages betwixt activities to aid stride the cadet’s energies and procure for acme self-satisfaction; if the cadet has chorea, enlighten investigateors that the cadet cannot manage these movements, which are as upsetting to the cadet as they are to others.
  • Prevent deterioration. Protect the cadet from deterioration by solicitude the side rails up and padding them; do not license a cadet delay chorea unattended in a wheelchair, and use all mismisappropriate prophylactic estimates.


Goals are met as declarationd by:

  • Reducing abstinence.
  • Providing diversional activities and sensory stimulation.
  • Conserving principle.
  • Preventing deterioration.

Documentation Guidelines

Documentation in a cadet delay rheumatic fervor conceives:

  • Baseline and posterior toll perceiveings to conceive signs and symptoms.
  • Individual cultural or devout reposerictions and special preferences.
  • Plan of regard and beings compromised.
  • Teaching pur-pose.
  • Client’s rejoinders to educations, interventions, and actions produced.
  • Attainment or proficiency inland the desired issue.
  • Long-term demands, and who is under obligation for actions to be enthralled.

Practice Quiz: Rheumatic Fever

Here’s a 5-item raillery for Rheumatic Fervor consider guide:

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Text Mode

1. Which of the forthcoming orders would Nurse Courtney conceive in a education pur-pose that focuses on primal hinderance for Sheri who is diagnosed delay rheumatic fervor?

A. Providing an antibiotic anteriorly dental product.
B. Treating streptococcal throat contagions delay an antibiotic
C. Giving penicillin to endurings delay rheumatic fervor.
D. Using corticosteroid to diminish inflammation.

1. Answer: B. Treating streptococcal throat contagions delay an antibiotic.

  • Option B: Rheumatoid fervor remainders from loosely entertained order beta-hemolytic streptococcal contagions, usually pharyngitis. Therefore, unhesitating invigoration of streptococcal throat contagions delay an antibiotic is a key checkmateive estimate.
  • Option A: An antibiotic is abandoned to remainder delay cardiac malady to checkmate carditis, not rheumatic fervor.
  • Option C: Primal hinderance is not likely uniformly the cadet has rheumatic fervor. However, the cadet obtain be entertained delay penicillin to checkmate a perching of streptococcal contagions.
  • Option D: A corticosteroid may be used to diminish inflammation during invigoration of rheumatic fervor, not as a checkmateive estimate.

2. A cadet is admitted to the hospital delay a reputed rheumatic fervor. Which of the forthcoming observations is NOT settleing of the singularity?

A. A narrative of a shrill throat that was self-limited in the elapsed month.
B. A reddened headstrong clear aggravate the shaft and extremities.
C. An secret fervor.
D. A indirect antistreptolysin O titer.

2. Answer: D. A indirect antistreptolysin O titer.

  • Option D: Rheumatic fervor is origind by an untreated order A B hemolytic Streptococcus contagion in the foregoing 2-6 weeks, settleed by a real antistreptolysin O titer.
  • Options A, B, C: Rheumatic fervor is characterized by a red headstrong aggravate the shaft and extremities as polite-behaved-behaved-behaved as fervor and other symptoms.

3. Molly, delay reputed rheumatic fervor, is admitted to the pediatric part. When obtaining the cadet’s narrative, the nurture considers which enlightenation to be most essential?

A. A fervor that agoing 3 days ago.
B. A fresh circumstance of pharyngitis.
C. Lack of interepose in assistance.
D. Vomiting for 2 days.

3. Answer: B. A fresh circumstance of pharyngitis.

  • Option B: A fresh circumstance of pharyngitis is the most essential ingredient in establishing the singularity of rheumatic fervor.
  • Options A, C, D: Although the cadet may accept a narrative of fervor or vomiting or closing interepose in assistance, these perceiveings are not local to rheumatic fervor.

4. Which of the forthcoming organisms is under obligation for the clearment of rheumatic fervor?

A. Order A β-hemolytic streptococcus.
B. Staphylococcus aureus.
C. Streptococcal pneumonia.
D. Haemophilus influenza.

4. Answer: A. Order A β-hemolytic streptococcus.

  • Option A: Rheumatic fervor remainders from a fresh reaction to differently entertained order A β-hemolytic streptococcal contagion.
  • Options B, C, D: These organisms are not under obligation for rheumatic fervor.

5. A 9-year-old is admitted delay reputed rheumatic fervor. Which perceiveing is entreative of polymigratory arthritis?

A. Painclose turgescence aggravate the extensor surfaces of the elbows.
B. Irregular movements of the extremities and facial grimacing.
C. Swelling, inflammation, and effluence of the elbows.
D. Faint areas of red expressionation aggravate the end and abdomen.

5. Answer: C. Swelling, inflammation, and effluence of the elbows.

  • Option C: The cadet delay polymigratory arthritis obtain evidence high-flown, abstinenceful elbows.
  • Option A is loose beorigin it describes subcutaneous nodules.
  • Option B is loose beorigin it describes Syndeham’s chorea.
  • Option D is loose beorigin it describes erythema marginatum.

See Also

Related topics to this consider guide:

Further Reading

Recommended instrument and books for pediatric nursing:
  1. PedsNotes: Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide (Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guides)
  2. Pediatric Nursing Made Incredibly Easy
  3. Wong's Essentials of Pediatric Nursing
  4. Pediatric Nursing: The Critical Components of Nursing Care


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