rheumatic fever


rheumatic fever
= acute rheumatism
a disease affecting mainly children and young adults that arises as a delayed complication of infection of the upper respiratory tract with haemolytic streptococci (see Streptococcus). The main features are fever, arthritis progressing from joint to joint, reddish circular patches on the skin, small painless nodules formed on bony prominences such as the elbow, abnormal involuntary movements of the limbs and head (Sydenham's chorea), and inflammation of the heart muscle, its valves, and the membrane surrounding the heart. The condition may progress to chronic rheumatic heart disease, with scarring and chronic inflammation of the heart and its valves leading to heart failure, murmurs, and damage to the valves. The initial infection is treated with antibiotics (e.g. penicillin) and bed rest, with aspirin to relieve the joint pain. Following an acute attack, long-term prophylaxis with penicillin is often recommended to prevent a relapse. Rheumatic fever is becoming much less common in developed countries, probably as a result of antibiotic use.

The new mediacal dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • rheumatic fever — ► NOUN ▪ an acute fever marked by inflammation and pain in the joints, caused by a streptococcal infection …   English terms dictionary

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  • rheumatic fever — Pathol. a serious disease, associated with streptococcal infections, usually affecting children, characterized by fever, swelling and pain in the joints, sore throat, and cardiac involvement. [1775 85] * * * Generalized disease caused by certain… …   Universalium

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  • rheumatic fever — (roo mat ik) An autoimmune disease characterized by inflammatory lesions involving the heart valves, joints, subcutaneous tissues, and central nervous system. The disease is associated with hemolytic streptococci in the body. It is called… …   Dictionary of microbiology

  • rheumatic fever — N UNCOUNT Rheumatic fever is a disease which causes fever, and swelling and pain in your joints …   English dictionary

  • rheumatic fever — Synonyms and related words: African lethargy, Asiatic cholera, Chagres fever, German measles, Haverhill fever, acute articular rheumatism, ague, alkali disease, amebiasis, amebic dysentery, anthrax, bacillary dysentery, bastard measles, black… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • rheumatic fever — rheu.matic fever n [U] a serious infectious disease that causes fever, swelling in your joints, and sometimes damage to your heart …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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