Symptoms of Heart Disease

Symptoms of Heart Disease are diverse in nature; their appearance depend on the area of the heart that is damaged.


The Rheumatic Heart Disease or RHD in the past was one of the most severe types of heart ailment for children and adolescents. RHD includes the injury and malfunction of its membranes and the entire heart. The frequency of RHD in children and adolescents has been greatly reduced due to the  use of antibiotics against the GABHS bacterium which causes Rheumatic Fever.

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease?

The symptoms of Rheumatic Heart Disease take account of non-cardiac and cardiac manifestations of acute rheumatic fever. A number of patients as well develop chronic rheumatic heart disease symptoms.

The patients may experience chest pain, mild to moderate chest distress, edema, orthopnea, cough and dyspnea. During physical assessment a new heart murmur can be auscultated. Tachycardia may also be present. Afterwards there would be an unexplained change of murmurs that are caused by rheumatic valvulitis. These changing murmurs may result from valve insufficiency. There are three common murmurs heard during its diagnosis.

The first one is the apical pansystolic murmur which is characterized by a high pitched tone and puffing quality of murmur during mitral regurgitation and spreads out to the left axilla. The person’s position and respiration would not affect the murmur. The next one is called apical diastolic murmur or Carey-Coombs murmur that is heard during active carditis along with mitral insufficiency. The murmur is at its loudest point when the patient is at a left lateral pose and holding his breath. Lastly, the basal diastolic murmur is a premature diastolic murmur during aortic regurgitation and is a high pitched, decrescendo, blowing sound  heard superlatively along the upper right and mid left sternal border subsequent to a deep expiration as the patient leans forward.

Other symptoms can be associated with the complications that arise during the course of the disease. It involves tachypnea, jugular vein distension, a gallop rhythm, rales, edema and inflammation of peripheral extremities, and paradoxical pulse. Non-cardiac manifestations can also occur just like polyarthritis, erythema magrginatum, chorea, subcutaneous nodules, abdominal pain, epistaxis, arthralgias, pneumonia and fever.

How is it Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose the condition, there are is a sequence of steps to follow. The fist step to confirm the occurrence of the disease is to determine whether the child had a recent strep infection. The physician may arrange for the child to undergo a blood test and a throat culture or either of the two tests. These two laboratory examinations will determine if the sore throat was caused by the GABHS microorganism and if the child has developed antibodies against it. However, it is probable that the symptoms may disappear at this moment when you take the child to see a physician. In this case, it is the mother’s responsibility to remember if the child had a sore throat (See: Sore Throat Remedies) or symptoms of GABHS infection.
After assessing the patient’s history of recent infections, it is necessary for the physician to perform a physical examination, taking into consideration the different signs and symptoms of Rheumatic Heart Disease. The physician has to check and auscultate the heart sounds for murmurs and for abnormal rhythm.

In addition, a couple of examinations to assess the heart for any damage will be prescribed. A Chest X-ray will evaluate the size of the patient’s heart and visualize if there are any excess fluid in the pericardium or lungs. An Echocardiogram is also needed. It utilizes sound waves to generate a realistic image of the heart and to quantify its shape and size.

How to Prevent Symptoms of Heart Disease?

The most excellent protection against Rheumatic Heart Disease is to avoid having Rheumatic Fever from happening to a person’s body. This is possible by managing the GABHS infection with the appropriate antibiotics. This should be constituted at the early stage of the disease to prevent it from progressing to a much severe illness.

A person who already suffered from sore throat and later developed Rheumatic Fever has the highest likelihood to acquire Rheumatic Heart Disease. The treatment regimen for this disorder is the strict adherence to medications. These people are provided with different antibiotic especially during procedures that may augment the risk of endocarditis.

What are the Treatments for Symptoms of Heart Disease?

Rheumatic Heart Disease medical therapies take account of the prevention of RF and RHD itself. For patients who developed Symptoms of Heart Disease, the managements are directed en route for eliminating the GABHS in the body and suppress the inflammation due to the autoimmune response of the body.  Per Orem penicillin V is still the drug of choice for the management of GABHS infection but amoxicillin and ampicillin can deliver the same effect. For persistent infections, alternative drugs are given such as cephalosphorins and erythromycin. Moreover, if worse things comes to worst, it will be necessary to perform surgical procedures that can repair the damaged valves such as Percutaneous Balloon Valvuloplasty, Mitral Valvuloplasty and even Mitral valve replacement.

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