Relationship between rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatoid Disease

relationship between rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis

and 48 and autopsied cases of rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatic fever Eleven patients (nine females and two males) between six and 29 years of age. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatic Fever, and Gout: Introduction in certain patients.5 Furthermore, an association between extra-articular disease and HLA- DR1. Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatoid (infectious) arthritis are often indistinguishable clinically,1 particularly at the onset. They may both start acutely with.

Strep is usually treated and cured quickly with antibiotics in most developed countries, including the U.

relationship between rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatic fever is serious. It causes widespread inflammation and swelling, causing particular trouble in the heart, where it may damage the heart valves and lead over time to congestive heart failure. Rheumatic fever got its name because several of its symptoms mimic rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis. The symptoms include joint swelling and pain, fever, nodules under the skin of the elbows and knees, and weakness, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

Other symptoms may include a raised red rash on the stomach and back, uncontrollable body movements convulsions or outbursts of unusual behavior, like sudden laughing or crying.


Treatment includes antibiotics to knock out any remaining streptococcus bacteria in the body and prevent re-infection. If the patient is a child, he or she will need to keep taking antibiotics as a preventative measure until the age of Older teens and adults generally take preventive antibiotics for at least five years. Rheumatic fever patients also receive anti-inflammatory medications to relieve inflammation, fever, and pain, and some receive corticosteroids.

Patients who have convulsions may need anticonvulsant drugs. Researchers suspect a number of triggers for the disease, including viruses, environmental causes like smoking, and hormones. It may also be genetic. Women get RD two to three times more often than men, and it can affect children as young as infants.

relationship between rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis

RD is an autoimmune disease. These ongoing attacks cause the joint inflammation, pain, swelling, and damage characteristic of the disease. The linings of the heart and lungs, the kidneys, the vascular system, and the eyes may also be affected by rheumatoid disease, and often contribute to the fatalities associated with it. A few even achieve remission.

Rheumatic Fever & Heart Disease - Pathology

Vitus' dance — most often in the hands, feet and face Outbursts of unusual behavior, such as crying or inappropriate laughing, that accompanies Sydenham chorea When to see a doctor Have your child see a doctor for signs or symptoms of strep throat. Proper treatment of strep can prevent rheumatic fever. Also, have your child see a doctor if he or she shows other indications of rheumatic fever. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic Causes Rheumatic fever can occur after an infection of the throat with a bacterium called group A streptococcus.

  • Rheumatic Fever

Group A streptococcus infections of the throat cause strep throat or, less commonly, scarlet fever. Group A streptococcus infections of the skin or other parts of the body rarely trigger rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic Fever

The link between strep infection and rheumatic fever isn't clear, but it appears that the bacterium tricks the immune system. The strep bacterium contains a protein similar to one found in certain tissues of the body. So immune system cells that would normally target the bacterium may treat the body's own tissues as if they were infectious agents — particularly tissues of the heart, joints, skin and central nervous system.

This immune system reaction results in inflammation. If your child receives prompt treatment with an antibiotic to eliminate strep bacteria and takes all medication as prescribed, there's little chance of developing rheumatic fever.

If your child has one or more episodes of strep throat or scarlet fever that aren't treated or not treated completely, he or she might develop rheumatic fever.

relationship between rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis

Risk factors Factors that can increase the risk of rheumatic fever include: Some people carry a gene or genes that might make them more likely to develop rheumatic fever. Type of strep bacteria. Certain strains of strep bacteria are more likely to contribute to rheumatic fever than are other strains.

A greater risk of rheumatic fever is associated with overcrowding, poor sanitation and other conditions that can easily result in the rapid transmission or multiple exposures to strep bacteria.

Complications Inflammation caused by rheumatic fever can last a few weeks to several months.

Rheumatic Fever or Rheumatoid Disease: What’s the Difference?

In some cases, the inflammation causes long-term complications. Rheumatic heart disease is permanent damage to the heart caused by rheumatic fever. It usually occurs 10 to 20 years after the original illness.