Clinica Pediatrica, IRCCS “Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste
Key words: Rheumatic fever, Group A Streptococcus, Penicillin
In developed countries, rheumatic fever represents nowadays a rare complication of group A streptococcal infection. In Italy, the annual incidence is 4-6 cases per 100.000 population under 18 years. Primary prophylaxis is based on treatment of streptococcal infections with intramuscular or oral penicillin. Short (6 days) courses of amoxycillin or cefalosporin are also effective. Carriers of lymphocyte antigen D 8/17 show an increased susceptibility to develop rheumatic fever. Eco-Doppler can help identifying the slighter form of carditis. The so-called post streptococcal reactive arthitis should be considered a variant of rheumatic fever.
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