Rheumatic fever


Acute rheumatic fever
Inflammatory rheumatism
Rheumatic arthritis


An inflammatory disease that may develop as a complication of inadequately treated strep throat or scarlet fever that can cause permanent damage to the heart including damaged heart valves and heart failure.

Patient Groups


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Source: Orphanet

Typical Age of onset

5-15 years


  • Fever
  • Painful and tender joints — most often in the knees, ankles, elbows and wrists
  • Pain in one joint that migrates to another joint
  • Red, hot or swollen joints
  • Small, painless bumps (nodules) beneath the skin
  • Chest pain
  • Heart murmur
  • Fatigue
  • Flat or slightly raised, painless rash with a ragged edge (erythema marginatum)
  • Jerky, uncontrollable body movements (Sydenham chorea, or St. Vitus' dance) — most often in the hands, feet and face
  • Outbursts of unusual behavior, such as crying or inappropriate laughing, that accompanies Sydenham chorea