First international guidelines for echocardiographic diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease

The inaugural international guidelines for the diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), a disease that affects tens of millions of people worldwide, have today been published by the World Heart Federation in Nature Reviews Cardiology.

The guidelines define the minimum requirements needed to diagnose RHD in individuals without a clear history of acute rheumatic fever (ARF), and will have important global and national implications.

is conducted with an of the heart's valves and chambers, known as an , but currently no guidelines are available to define what is normal on echocardiography.

In the absence of definitive guidance, physicians reporting on echocardiograms make decisions based on their , and missing the disease at an early stage can have devastating consequences.

"The new evidence-based guidelines clearly define not only what is considered to be a definite and a borderline case of RHD but also what is considered normal in children," said Dr Bo Reményi, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia. "The aim of the guidelines is to maximise pick-up of minor degrees of RHD, while preventing over-diagnosis."

The World Heart Federation echocardiographic criteria for RHD have been developed and formulated on the basis of the best available evidence.

"The use of the guidelines should enable rapid identification of RHD patients who do not have a history of ARF," said Prof Jonathan Carapetis, a co-author of the guidelines and Director of the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, Australia.

Dr Nigel Wilson a co-author and Paediatric Cardiologist from the Starship Children's Hospital, Auckland New Zealand commented that "the guidelines should also allow for consistent echocardiographic reporting of RHD worldwide, which will in turn help us to get a better understanding of the number of people that are truly affected by this disease."

Three categories have been defined on the basis of assessment by 2D, continuous-wave, and color-Doppler : 'definite RHD', 'borderline RHD', and 'normal'. Four subcategories of 'definite RHD' and three subcategories of 'borderline RHD' exist, to reflect the various disease patterns.

Provided by World Heart Federation

3 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Barriers preventing post-stroke care

20 hours ago

For stroke victims, rehabilitation is crucial to their recovery. But a Flinders University study conducted in Singapore found that rehabilitation rates following discharge from hospital are poor because of gaps in the continuum ...

Home-based rehabilitation for CVD patients

21 hours ago

Patients who are found to suffer from cardiovascular diseases often have long years of treatment ahead of them and are urged to drastically change their lifestyle. But what is probably the most difficult ...

New remote patient monitoring devices available

Jul 24, 2014

(HealthDay)—Several new remote patient monitoring devices with useful applications are available or under development, according to an article published July 8 in Medical Economics.

Monitoring pulse after stroke may prevent a second stroke

Jul 23, 2014

New research suggests that regularly monitoring your pulse after a stroke or the pulse of a loved one who has experienced a stroke may be a simple and effective first step in detecting irregular heartbeat, a major cause of ...

User comments