Testing & Diagnosis for Rheumatic Fever in Children

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Your physician will make the diagnosis based on your child's medical history. Your doctor will conduct a complete physical exam (possibly including blood tests and an EKG) to confirm the presence of:

  • Major criteria including:
    • Inflammation of the heart
    • Inflammation of more than one joitn
    • Unusual jerky movements, often involving the face and hands
    • Nodules or small, hard bumps under the skin
    • Rash
  • Minor criteria including:
    • Fever
    • Joint pain
    • Changes in the EKG pattern

There is no definitive test for rheumatic fever. A diagnosis is made when there is evidence of a streptococcal infection plus the presence of either two major criteria or one major criterion and two minor criteria.

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Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337

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