Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Pediatric Health Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Pediatrics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran



Background: Although infrequent, Sydenham’s chorea (SC) may occur as a result of injury to the basal ganglia in children with acute rheumatic fever (ARF) secondary to group A Streptococcal infection. Certain hallmarks of SC, such as movement disorders, could be utilized as a predictive marker for carditis. The present study aimed to investigate neurologic and cardiologic symptoms in children with suspected SC after ARF.
Methods: All children aged 5-16 who were admitted at Shahid Madani Pediatric Hospital (Tabriz, Iran), with an initial diagnosis of ARF and SC between 2009 and 2022 were included for echocardiographic assessment and prospective follow-up within 6 and 12 months after the start point. The pattern and severity of valvulopathy, as well as the prevalence of Jones criteria for rheumatic fever, were used to assess the effect. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS Statistics software (version 22.0) using Chi square and Fisher’s exact tests. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The study enrolled 85 children, 36 girls and 49 boys, with a mean age of 9.7±2.7. On the first echocardiography, 42.4% of patients had mitral valve regurgitation (MR), with a predominance of female patients (P=0.04). Of those diagnosed with SC (12 girls and 6 boys), 66.7% showed cardiac involvement, with a higher prevalence of MR in both sexes (P=0.04). The pattern of cardiac involvement after 6 months was significantly different between the groups (P=0.04). However, no such difference was observed during the one-year follow-up (P=0.07). Female sex was found to have a significant relationship with SC localization (P=0.01).
Conclusion: In addition to its neurological manifestations, SC can be associated with clinical or subclinical cardiac valve dysfunction that might last for more than a year. In addition to attempting early detection and appropriate management, a precise cardiac and neurologic assessment during admission and follow-up is recommended.


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