The main cause for this disease is the betahaemolytic Streptococcus of group A, which is found in common infectious sites such as the mouth; in dental granulomas, dental abscesses, paradontosis, and other infections such as chronic tonsillitis.
The streptococcal theory is based on:
Bacteriological data. betahaemolytic Streptococcus was isolated from extracting material from sites of infection.
Immunological data. Streptococcus bears extracellular and intracellular antigens. Extracellular antigens include streptolysin, which is a protein that increases in levels during rheumatism, streptokinase which is a phosphorylating enzyme, streptodornase, hyaluronidase, which is another enzyme found in elevated levels in patients suffering from rheumatism. Intracellular antigens include: polysaccharides, protein M.
Epidemiological data. It has been noticed that an increase in patients suffering from chronic tonsillitis is correlated with an increase in patients suffering from acute articular rheumatism.
Therapeutic data. Using antibiotics to treat streptococcal angina or using antibiotics with slow release into the bloodstream leads to a decrease of cases of rheumatism.
Endocarditis may come in different forms.
Verrucous form: which is accompanied by damage to the epithelia at the edges of the valves and thrombi in the form of verrucae.
Both of these forms involve degeneration of the tissue and may lead to fibrous endocarditis, which causes the valve tissue to become rigid and fibrous, lacking elasticity. This disease may occur several times, hence, recurrent endocarditis is a potential diagnosis. In these cases, the damage to the valves is even greater, the damages to the valves are superposed.
Rheumatic endocarditis is an inflammation of the endocardium. The inflammatory process if mostly localized in the valve endocardium, the layerÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â whichÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â covers the tendons and papillary muscles, and rarely the parietal endocardium may be affected.
Clinical symptomsÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â appear 8 to 10 days after the rheumatic attack and they include: high fever (rises and falls periodically), extreme fatigue, rhythm disruptions, a feeling of heaviness and pain in the precordium, dyspnea (difficulties breathing).
The main cause for this disease is theÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â betahaemolyticÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â StreptococcusÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â of group A, which is found in common infectious sites such as the mouth; in dental granulomas, dental abscesses,Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â paradontosis, and other infections such as chronic tonsillitis.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
A definitive diagnosis can be made via an objectiveÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â examination whichÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â will involve investigating for auscultative symptoms, which are the only symptoms which can belie potentialÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â damage of the endocardium.
Rheumatic endocarditis patients may suffer from the following complications:Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â rhythmÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â disruptions (like arrhythmias), cardiacÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â insufficienc (which often constitutes the most common cause of death of these patients), infarctions and embolisms, etc.
Prophylactic treatment is usually conducted via the use of antibiotics, just as in cases of acute rheumatic polyarthritis. Each time these patients suffer fromÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â bacterialÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â infectionsÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â they must be immediately medicated with antibiotics.