First international guidelines for echocardiographic diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease

February 28, 2012

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.

Explore further: New harmonized cardiovascular treatment guidelines make heart disease treatment easier

Related Stories

New harmonized cardiovascular treatment guidelines make heart disease treatment easier

September 12, 2011
A new set of harmonized guidelines for the management of risk factors for cardiovascular disease will make it much easier for physicians to care for their patients, according to the authors of the C-CHANGE guidelines published ...

ASE-EAE to issue guidelines for the echocardiographic evaluation of cancer patients

October 20, 2011
The European Association of Echocardiography has announced that it is working together with the American Society of Echocardiography to issue joint recommendations on the usefulness of serial echocardiographic evaluations ...

EASL publishes first European Clinical Practice Guidelines for Wilson's disease

February 7, 2012
Geneva, Switzerland: The first European Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) for the diagnosis and management of Wilson's disease are published today by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) on the EASL ...

New guidelines developed for improved deep venous thrombosis diagnosis

February 14, 2012
A researcher at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City is part of a select panel of international experts to help develop new evidence-based clinical guidelines used by physicians worldwide for the diagnosis and treatment ...

Recommended for you

Five vascular diseases linked to one common genetic variant

July 27, 2017
Genome-wide association studies have implicated a common genetic variant in chromosome 6p24 in coronary artery disease, as well as four other vascular diseases: migraine headache, cervical artery dissection, fibromuscular ...

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?

July 18, 2017
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat

July 17, 2017
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the ...

Concerns over side effects of statins stopping stroke survivors taking medication

July 17, 2017
Negative media coverage of the side effects associated with taking statins, and patients' own experiences of taking the drugs, are among the reasons cited by stroke survivors and their carers for stopping taking potentially ...

Study discovers anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

July 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.

Protein may protect against heart attack

July 14, 2017
DDK3 could be used as a new therapy to stop the build-up of fatty material inside the arteries

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.