Neurologic complications of rheumatic fever
Handb Clin Neurol. 2021;177:23-31. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-819814-8.00002-0.
Sydenham chorea, also known as St. Vitus dance, is a major clinical criterion for the diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever. Clinically, it results in a combination of movement disorders and complex neuropsychiatric symptoms. Cardiac damage due to rheumatic fever may also predispose to neurologic complications later in life. Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is associated with heart remodeling, cardiac arrhythmias, and ischemic stroke. Furthermore, chronically damaged heart valves are predisposed to infection. Septic brain embolism, a known complication of infective endocarditis, may result in brain ischemia, hemorrhage, and spread of the infection to the brain.