Changes of Pattern and incidence of childhood rheumatic fever in Sabratha Hospital

Short communication


El Mehdi Shabani

Sabratha Teaching Hospital, Sabratha-Libya

JMJ Vol. 5, No 2 (Summer) 2006: 148-150


Fifty seven Libyan children suffering from Rheumatic Fever were diagnosed and treated in Sabratha Teaching Hospital in the periods of June 1986 – May 1988 and from June 2000 – May 2002. The number of patients in the first period was forty five patients and in the second period were twelve patients. There were twenty three boys and twenty two girls in the first period and seven boys and five girls in the second period. The mean age in the first period was 10.8 years (3-16 years) and the mean age in the second period was 9.3 years (6-12 years). Concerning the first period, Arthritis was diagnosed in 93% of patients (42 patients); ankle joint arthritis was the commonest joint involved followed by knees and wrists joints. Carditis was diagnosed in 66% of patients (30 patients); the commonest valvular lesion was mitral regurgitation. There were four patients presented with rheumatic chorea as the only manifestation and in two patients there was Erythema marginatum and in one patient there were subcutaneous nodules. Concerning the Second period, Arthritis was diagnosed in all patients. The commonest joints involved were the ankles followed by the knees & wrists. Carditis was seen in 7 patients (58%); the mitral regurgitation was the commonest valvular lesions. There were no recorded cases with rheumatic chorea, Erythema marginatum or subcutaneous nodules. In conclusion it appears from this comparative study that the incidence of rheumatic fever in our region is declining during the recent years and its pattern becomes much less severe than before.

Keywords: Libyan Rheumatic fever, children