Rheumatic fever diagnosis, management, and secondary prevention: a New Zealand guideline

N Z Med J. 2008 Apr 4;121(1271):59-69.


Aim: The National Heart Foundation of New Zealand, and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) recently launched an evidence-based review and guideline entitled New Zealand Guideline for Rheumatic Fever Diagnosis, Management, and Secondary Prevention. This paper is a brief summary.

Method: This Guideline was developed by a writing group comprising experts in the area. Relevant literature was identified and reviewed, and the Australian guideline for rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease was reviewed and adapted for the New Zealand context. A peer review and stakeholder consultation process followed the development of the draft document.

Results: The final draft of the New Zealand guideline was endorsed by Te Hotu Manawa Maori, Pacific Islands Heart Beat, The Paediatric Society of New Zealand, and the Rheumatic Fever Trust of New Zealand--plus approved by a number of organisations including the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australasian Society for Infectious Disease, the Pasifika Medical Association, and Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa. Two subsequent New Zealand guidelines for rheumatic fever: Sore Throat Management and Primary Prevention are also in production. The complete guideline, and associated summary algorithms, can be downloaded from www.nhf.org.nz

Conclusion: A New Zealand Guideline for Rheumatic Fever Diagnosis, Management and Secondary Prevention of Acute Rheumatic Fever should result in improved consistency in the approach to this disease, and reduced mortality and morbidity from acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography
  • Humans
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Penicillin G Benzathine / administration & dosage
  • Penicillin G Benzathine / therapeutic use*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Prevalence
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease* / drug therapy
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease* / prevention & control
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Penicillin G Benzathine