Mayo Clinic doctors who have training in treating children who have heart disease (pediatric cardiologists) evaluate children for rheumatic fever. Doctors have experience diagnosing rheumatic fever and ruling out other similar conditions.
To diagnose rheumatic fever, your child's doctor will review your child's medical history and your child's signs and symptoms, and perform a physical examination. Your child's doctor also may order several tests to help diagnose rheumatic fever. These tests include:
- Blood tests. In blood tests, your child's doctor may test your child for a strep infection or history of a past strep infection.
- Chest X-ray. Your child's doctor may order a chest X-ray to look for heart enlargement.
- Echocardiogram. During an echocardiogram, sound waves create detailed images of your child's heart. This test assesses the structure of your child's heart and blood flow through your child's heart. This test shows any heart inflammation or heart valve damage.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG). In this test, sensor patches with wires attached (electrodes) measure the electrical impulses given off by your child's heart.
- Throat culture. In this test, your child's doctor swipes a sterile swab in your child's throat to gather a sample of secretions to be tested for strep bacteria.
Read more about echocardiogram, electrocardiogram and X-ray at MayoClinic.com.