Rheumatic Heart Disease: Progress and Challenges in India.
ABSTRACT Rheumatic heart disease, a neglected disease, continues to be a burden in India and other developing countries. It is a result of an autoimmune sequalae in response to group A beta hemolytic streptococcus (GAS) infection of the pharynx. Acute rheumatic fever (RF), a multisystem inflammatory disease, is followed by rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and has manifestations of joints, skin and central nervous system involvement. A review of epidemiological studies indicates unchanged GAS pharyngitis and carrier rates in India. The apparent decline in RHD rates in India as indicated by the epidemiological studies has to be taken with caution as methodological differences exist among studies. Use of echocardiography increases case detection rates of RHD in population surveys. However, the significance of echo based diagnosis of carditis needs further evaluation to establish the significance. Research in this area through prospective follow up studies will have to be undertaken by the developing countries as the interest of developed countries in the disease has waned due the declined burden in their populations. Prevention of RHD is possible through treatment of GAS pharyngitis (primary prophylaxis) and continued antibiotic treatment for number of years in patients with history of RF to prevent recurrences (secondary prophylaxis). The cost effectiveness and practicality of secondary prophylaxis is well documented. The challenge to any secondary prophylaxis program for prevention of RF in India will be the availability of benzathine penicillin G and dissipation of fears of allergic reactions to penicillin among practitioners, general public and policy makers. The authors review here the progress and challenges in epidemiology, diagnosis and primary and secondary prevention of RF and RHD.
Annals of Pediatric Cardiology 05/2014; 7(2):83-5. DOI:10.4103/0974-2069.132472
03/2014; 9(1):e19. DOI:10.1016/j.gheart.2014.03.1284
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ABSTRACT: The World Heart Federation (WHF) guidelines for rheumatic heart disease (RHD) are designed for a standard portable echocardiography (STAND) machine. A recent study in a tertiary care centre demonstrated that they also had good sensitivity and specificity when modified for use with handheld echocardiography (HAND). Our study aimed to evaluate the performance of HAND for early RHD diagnosis in the setting of a large-scale field screening. STAND was performed in 4773 children in Gulu, Uganda, with 10% randomly assigned to also undergo HAND. Additionally, any child with mitral or aortic regurgitation also underwent HAND. Studies were performed by experienced echocardiographers and blindly reviewed by cardiologists using 2012 WHF criteria, which were modified slightly for HAND-due to the lack of spectral Doppler capability. Paired echocardiograms were performed in 1420 children (mean age 10.8 and 53% female), resulting in 1234 children who were normal, 133 who met criteria for borderline RHD, 47 who met criteria for definite RHD, and 6 who had other diagnoses. HAND had good sensitivity and specificity for RHD detection (78.9 and 87.2%, respectively), but was most sensitive for definite RHD (97.9%). Inter- and intra-reviewer agreement ranged between 66-83 and 71.4-94.1%, respectively. HAND has good sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of early RHD, performing best for definite RHD. Protocols for RHD detection utilizing HAND will need to include confirmation by STAND to avoid over-diagnosis. Strategies that evaluate simplified screening protocols and training of non-physicians hold promise for more wide spread deployment of HAND-based protocols. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2015. For permissions please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Imaging 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/ehjci/jeu296 · 2.65 Impact Factor