Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 766-771

The occult rheumatic scourge: A clinicopathological analysis of missed rheumatic heart disease


1 Intern, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pathology (Cardiovascular and Thoracic Division), Seth GS Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Queensland Children's Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
4 Consultant Cardiologist, Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospitals, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Pradeep Vaideeswar
Department of Pathology (Cardiovascular and Thoracic Division), Seth GS Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijpm.ijpm_1473_20

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Aims: To study the clinical and pathological manifestations of missed cases of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and postulate possible reasons behind a missed diagnosis. Materials and Methods: Retrospective 20-year (2000–2019) autopsy data of chronic RHD were reviewed and patients, in whom the valvular deformities had been incidental autopsy findings, were selected. The clinical details of these patients were correlated with the morphology of the affected valves. On this pathological analysis, the patients were assigned to a category of subtle or significant valvular deformity. By clinically correlating, the latter group was subdivided into clinically misdiagnosed, clinically undiagnosed, and sudden cardiac death. Statistical Analysis: Nil. Results: Among the 475 cases of chronic RHD identified at autopsy in the study period, the disease was diagnosed incidentally in 69 patients (14.5%). Significant valvular deformity was noted in 61 cases while the other 8 cases had subtle valvular deformity. The most common cause of death was cardiac failure in 39 out of 69 patients (56%). Eleven (16%) patients had experienced sudden cardiac death. Among the undiagnosed cases, 5 (7%) of them had a diagnosis of non-rheumatic cardiac disease, while the other 14 (20.5%) patients had overwhelming non-cardiac diseases. Conclusions: Our study indicates that mortality and morbidity due to RHD are underdetermined. The patients remain undiagnosed due to either insignificant valvular involvement, clinically silent in the presence of significant valvular deformity, presence of other overwhelming diseases or misdiagnosis partly due to the resemblance with the other pathologies.


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