Which histologic findings are characteristic of acute rheumatic fever (ARF)?

Updated: Dec 10, 2020
  • Author: Robert J Meador, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Synovial biopsy (which is rarely performed) reveals mild inflammatory changes. The synovial membrane may be thickened, erythematous, and covered by a fibrinous exudate.

Endomyocardial biopsies have not contributed significantly to diagnosis. Focal fibrinoid lesions in the heart and histiocytic granulomas called Aschoff nodules may be late findings. Pancarditis develops with involvement of all layers of the heart.

Subcutaneous nodule histopathology reveals edema, fibrinoid necrosis, and mononuclear cell infiltrate.


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