The natural history of latent rheumatic heart disease in a 5 year follow-up study: a prospective observational study.


Latent rheumatic heart disease (RHD) occurs in asymptomatic individuals with echocardiographic evidence of RHD and no history of acute rheumatic fever. The natural history of latent RHD is unclear but has important clinical and economic implications about whether these children should receive penicillin prophylaxis or not. We performed a 5-year prospective study of this question.