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Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016 01 14;2:15084

Authors: Carapetis JR, Beaton A, Cunningham MW, Guilherme L, Karthikeyan G, Mayosi BM, Sable C, Steer A, Wilson N, Wyber R, Zühlke L

Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is the result of an autoimmune response to pharyngitis caused by infection with group A Streptococcus. The long-term damage to cardiac valves caused by ARF, which can result from a single severe episode or from multiple recurrent episodes of the illness, is known as rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and is a notable cause of morbidity and mortality in resource-poor settings around the world. Although our understanding of disease pathogenesis has advanced in recent years, this has not led to dramatic improvements in diagnostic approaches, which are still reliant on clinical features using the Jones Criteria, or treatment practices. Indeed, penicillin has been the mainstay of treatment for decades and there is no other treatment that has been proven to alter the likelihood or the severity of RHD after an episode of ARF. Recent advances - including the use of echocardiographic diagnosis in those with ARF and in screening for early detection of RHD, progress in developing group A streptococcal vaccines and an increased focus on the lived experience of those with RHD and the need to improve quality of life - give cause for optimism that progress will be made in coming years against this neglected disease that affects populations around the world, but is a particular issue for those living in poverty.

PMID: 27188830 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Pulmonary veins stenosis relief after an inappropriate radiofrequency catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation in a young non-competitive athlete.

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2018 Mar 09;88(1):895

Authors: Sarubbi B, Rea G, Santoro G, Melillo E, Scognamiglio G, Russo MG

One of the major complications of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) for atrial fibrillation (AF) is pulmonary vein stenosis (PVS). The natural history of PVS, especially when it involves more than one vein, leads to severe and irreversible pulmonary hypertension with end-stage right heart failure that can require, in extreme cases, even heart-lung transplantation. We report the case of a young patient who underwent RFCA for a single lasting episode of AF and developed PVS years later. He was treated with ballon venoplasty followed by stent implantation in left pulmonary vein because of PVS relief. This reported case emphasizes the need of an adequate indication for RFCA for AF, considering the benefit-risk ratio especially in young patients with normal cardiac function.

PMID: 29557576 [PubMed - in process]