What is the prognosis 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

The course followed by a patient after a first attack is highly variable and unpredictable. Approximately 90% of episodes last less than 3 months. Only a minority persist longer, in the form of unremitting rheumatic carditis or prolonged chorea.

In an Australian study, recurrence of ARF occurred most often in the first year after initial ARF episode (incidence 3.7 per 100 person-years), but low-level risk persisted for more than 10 years. Risk of progression to rheumatic heart disease was also highest in the first year (incidence 35.9), almost 10 times higher than that of ARF recurrence. [33]


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