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My 20-year-old daughter was diagnosed with rheumatic fever. How often should she have echoes?

My daughter is 20 years old and was diagnosed with rheumatic fever six months ago. She is on prophylactic penicillin 250mg BID x five years. Her echo shows mild thickening of the tricuspid valve with mild regurgitation and mild thickening of the mitral valve. Is this from the rheumatic fever? How often should she have echoes? Her cardiologist said her echo was normal.

submitted by Janda from Pennsylvania on 5/29/2014


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Scott Sherron, MD  

Scott R. Sherron, MDAt her age, mild thickening of the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve can be normal findings and likely are not related to the rheumatic fever.  Echoes should be done annually for about three years then every two to three years thereafter, although this pattern will vary from doctor to doctor and there is not an agreed optimal timing.

Hope this is helpful.  With prophylaxis and awareness, she is unlikely to develop long term consequences.  Re-evaluation will be important when she starts to plan pregnancy.

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National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute  

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Updated June 2014
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