Reversibility of mitral regurgitation following rheumatic fever: clinical profile and echocardiographic evaluation

Indian J Pediatr. Nov-Dec 1995;62(6):717-23. doi: 10.1007/BF02825126.


The clinical disappearance of the murmur of rheumatic mitral regurgitation after period of time has been documented by many researchers. However no studies have related the disappearance of the murmur with the functional or anatomical state of the mitral valve. This study was done to elucidate the mitral valve status using doppler and color coded echocardiography among those children who have lost their apical pansystolic murmur on auscultation following a documented attack of rheumatic fever. The study sample consisted of 51 patients including 31 patients in whom the murmur has disappeared (group I), and 20 patients with persistent isolated mitral regurgitation (group II). Patients of group I had significantly lower grades of murmur intensity, lower incidence of cardiomegaly, and had no heart failure in the initial attack. They were more compliant with prophylaxis and had less recurrences than patients of group II. The murmur disappeared in patients of group I from 1/2 to 14 years after the initial attack. Echocardiography revealed that such patients had a normal mitral valve apparatus, and a normal heart size and function. Only 5 patients of this group had a significant regurgitant jet demonstrated by colour doppler. We concluded that recovery of the mitral valve and return of cardiac functions to normal is possible in patients who had mitral regurgitation following rheumatic fever. Some of them may still have an inaudible mild regurgitation. Patients who have lost their murmur may be allowed to exercise freely, yet penicillin prophylaxis should not be discontinued.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease / physiopathology
  • Time Factors