BACKGROUND: One of the main causes of valvular stenosis is Rheumatic Fever/Rheumatic Heart Disease (RF/RHD), which is the most common cardiovascular disease in children and young adults. Patients who had previous RF are at high risk for recurrent attacks, leading to potentially life-threatening cardiac complications. Early diagnosis and management is therefore recommended in these patients. Asymptomatic cases with incidental echocardiographic finding of valve thickening
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to describe the profile of patients with echocardiographic findings of Valvular thickening and to determine the frequency of rheumatic fever among these cases
METHODOLOGY: This is a descriptive study. All echocardiographic studies done during the month of July 2004 in SLMC Echocardiography Laboratory were reviewed. Cases with findings of thickened heart valve, defined echocardiographically as an increased echodensity by 0.5cm, were included in this paper. These patients were then interviewed and asked for history of RF/RHD
RESULTS: Results showed, 106 (75.2 percent) of total population have both mitral and aortic valve thickening, 23 (16.3 percent) have aortic valve thickening and 12 (8.5 percent) with mitral valve thickening. This study showed a dominance of tricuspid regurgitation by 77.8 percent followed by mitral regurgitation which is 59.6 percent
CONCLUSION: This study showed a low frequency of RF/RHD among patients with thickened heart valves.