Issue: 2003 > February > case report

Cardiac failure following group A streptococcal infection with echocardiographically proven pericarditis, still insufficient arguments for acute rheumatic fever: a case report and literature update

T.L.Th.A. Jansen, P. Joosten, J. Brouwer


We recently encountered a 49-year-old female who developed fever due to group A streptococcal (GAS) bacteriaemia spreading to an abscess in the iliac muscle and a bacterial monarthritis of the right knee with a sterile arthritis of her left knee. Treatment was started with a six-week course of intravenous penicillin. She developed a mitral valve insufficiency and pericarditis on the tenth day of admission. In the third week heart failure developed with, on echocardiograph, a high output left ventricular failure without signs of valvulitis or myocarditis. Using a diuretic regimen she was recompensated. Because of the pericarditis with mitral valve insufficiency corticosteroids were given, which had a rapid beneficial effect. A discussion follows on the position of acute rheumatic fever versus poststreptococcal reactive arthritis in this clinical picture and the literature is updated.