Heart and Blood Conditions

Rheumatic Heart Disease Treatment

Rheumatic fever requires treatment with medicine (antibiotics). After initial treatment, preventative medicines (prophylactic antibiotics) are needed to make sure the strep infection doesn’t come back. Your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine to treat the joint pain and swelling. Bed rest may be recommended, and this can range from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the seriousness of the illness.

If diagnosed with rheumatic fever, your child will need follow-up care with a heart doctor (pediatric cardiologist) to check for long- term damage to the heart (rheumatic heart disease).

Rheumatic Heart Disease Treatment

Once a child gets rheumatic heart disease from a strep infection, they may have to take medicine (antibiotics) for decades to prevent a return of rheumatic fever that can cause more damage to their heart valves.

If your child has a damaged heart valve that is narrow or leaks enough blood to strain their heart, they may need surgery to repair or replace the valve. Sometimes, if the valve is too narrow, a balloon catheter procedure (balloon valvuloplasty) may be used to try to open the valve without surgery. However, in many cases, the valve cannot be opened with a balloon procedure, and a child needs surgery to replace their valve with an artificial one.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.