Background: Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a major cause of cardiovascular disease in developing nations, leading to more than 230,000 deaths annually. Most patients seek medical care only when long-term structural and hemodynamic complications have already occurred. Echocardiographic screenings ensure the early detection of asymptomatic subjects who could benefit from prophylaxis, monitoring and intervention, when appropriate. The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of a screening program and the prevalence of RHD in a Ugandan orphanage. Methods: We performed an RHD-focused echocardiogram on all the children (5–14 years old) living in a north Ugandan orphanage. Exams were performed with a portable machine (GE Vivid-I). All the time intervals were recorded (minutes). Results: A total of 163 asymptomatic children were screened over 8 days (medium age 9.1; 46% male; 17% affected by severe motor impairment). The feasibility rate was 99.4%. An average of 20.4 exams were performed per day, with an average of 15.5 images collected per subject. Pathological mitral regurgitation (MR) was found in 5.5% of subjects, while at least two morphological features of RHD were found in 4.3%, leading to 1 “definite RHD” (0.6%) case and 13 “borderline RHD” cases (8.1%). Six congenital heart defects were also noted (3.7%): four atrial septal defects, one coronary artery fistula and one Patent Ductus Arteriosus. Conclusions: We demonstrated the feasibility of an echocardiographic screening for RHD in an orphanage in Uganda. A few factors, such as good clinical and hygienic care, the availability of antibiotics and closeness to a big hospital, may account for the low prevalence of the disease in our population.

Echocardiographic Screening for Rheumatic Heart Disease in a Ugandan Orphanage : Feasibility and Outcomes / M. Mapelli, P. Zagni, V. Calbi, L. Fusini, A. Twalib, R. Ferrara, I. Mattavelli, L. Alberghina, E. Salvioni, C. Opira, J. Kansiime, G. Tamborini, M. Pepi, P. Agostoni. - In: CHILDREN. - ISSN 2227-9067. - 9:10(2022 Sep 23), pp. 1451.1-1451.7. [10.3390/children9101451]

Echocardiographic Screening for Rheumatic Heart Disease in a Ugandan Orphanage : Feasibility and Outcomes

M. Mapelli
Primo
;
L. Fusini;E. Salvioni;P. Agostoni
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Background: Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a major cause of cardiovascular disease in developing nations, leading to more than 230,000 deaths annually. Most patients seek medical care only when long-term structural and hemodynamic complications have already occurred. Echocardiographic screenings ensure the early detection of asymptomatic subjects who could benefit from prophylaxis, monitoring and intervention, when appropriate. The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of a screening program and the prevalence of RHD in a Ugandan orphanage. Methods: We performed an RHD-focused echocardiogram on all the children (5–14 years old) living in a north Ugandan orphanage. Exams were performed with a portable machine (GE Vivid-I). All the time intervals were recorded (minutes). Results: A total of 163 asymptomatic children were screened over 8 days (medium age 9.1; 46% male; 17% affected by severe motor impairment). The feasibility rate was 99.4%. An average of 20.4 exams were performed per day, with an average of 15.5 images collected per subject. Pathological mitral regurgitation (MR) was found in 5.5% of subjects, while at least two morphological features of RHD were found in 4.3%, leading to 1 “definite RHD” (0.6%) case and 13 “borderline RHD” cases (8.1%). Six congenital heart defects were also noted (3.7%): four atrial septal defects, one coronary artery fistula and one Patent Ductus Arteriosus. Conclusions: We demonstrated the feasibility of an echocardiographic screening for RHD in an orphanage in Uganda. A few factors, such as good clinical and hygienic care, the availability of antibiotics and closeness to a big hospital, may account for the low prevalence of the disease in our population.
developing countries; echocardiographic screening; mitral valve; rheumatic fever; rheumatic heart disease
Settore MED/11 - Malattie dell'Apparato Cardiovascolare
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/943908
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