What Are the Complications of Rheumatic Heart Disease?

Q:

What are the complications of rheumatic heart disease?

A:

Complications of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) include:

  • Heart failure. It is the major cause of death and disability from rheumatic heart disease (RHD), either a leaking or severely narrowed valve. If untreated, the damaged or scarred heart valve will not be able to function effectively, such as pluming blood.
  • Atrial fibrillation (AF). AF refers to an abnormal heart rhythm. Damaged heart valves change the pattern of the heart. Therefore, patients with RHD are facing greater risk of developing AF, as well as breathlessness and palpitations.
  • Bacterial endocarditis (BE). BE refers to an infection of the inner lining of the heart. Those who have RHD are more likely to develop BE. However, when BE is diagnosed, antibiotic treatment may become ineffective. The best way to prevent BE is to keep good dental hygiene, because bacteria tend to come from the mouth.
  • Complications of pregnancy and delivery. Women with RHD are facing greater risk of significant illness and death during pregnancy and delivery. Therefore, they should discuss with their healthcare team before getting pregnant.

 

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Related FAQs:

What Is Rheumatic Heart Disease?

What is Chronic RHD?

What Are the Causes of RHD?

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.