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      Inter-rater and intra-rater reliability and agreement of echocardiographic diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease using the World Heart Federation evidence-based criteria

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          Abstract

          Objective

          Different definitions have been used for screening for rheumatic heart disease (RHD). This led to the development of the 2012 evidence-based World Heart Federation (WHF) echocardiographic criteria. The objective of this study is to determine the intra-rater and inter-rater reliability and agreement in differentiating no RHD from mild RHD using the WHF echocardiographic criteria.

          Methods

          A standard set of 200 echocardiograms was collated from prior population-based surveys and uploaded for blinded web-based reporting. Fifteen international cardiologists reported on and categorised each echocardiogram as no RHD, borderline or definite RHD. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability was calculated using Cohen’s and Fleiss’ free-marginal multirater kappa (κ) statistics, respectively. Agreement assessment was expressed as percentages. Subanalyses assessed reproducibility and agreement parameters in detecting individual components of WHF criteria.

          Results

          Sample size from a statistical standpoint was 3000, based on repeated reporting of the 200 studies. The inter-rater and intra-rater reliability of diagnosing definite RHD was substantial with a kappa of 0.65 and 0.69, respectively. The diagnosis of pathological mitral and aortic regurgitation was reliable and almost perfect, kappa of 0.79 and 0.86, respectively. Agreement for morphological changes of RHD was variable ranging from 0.54 to 0.93 κ.

          Conclusions

          The WHF echocardiographic criteria enable reproducible categorisation of echocardiograms as definite RHD versus no or borderline RHD and hence it would be a suitable tool for screening and monitoring disease progression. The study highlights the strengths and limitations of the WHF echo criteria and provides a platform for future revisions.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Prevalence of rheumatic heart disease detected by echocardiographic screening.

          Epidemiologic studies of the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease have used clinical screening with echocardiographic confirmation of suspected cases. We hypothesized that echocardiographic screening of all surveyed children would show a significantly higher prevalence of rheumatic heart disease. Randomly selected schoolchildren from 6 through 17 years of age in Cambodia and Mozambique were screened for rheumatic heart disease according to standard clinical and echocardiographic criteria. Clinical examination detected rheumatic heart disease that was confirmed by echocardiography in 8 of 3677 children in Cambodia and 5 of 2170 children in Mozambique; the corresponding prevalence rates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were 2.2 cases per 1000 (95% CI, 0.7 to 3.7) for Cambodia and 2.3 cases per 1000 (95% CI, 0.3 to 4.3) for Mozambique. In contrast, echocardiographic screening detected 79 cases of rheumatic heart disease in Cambodia and 66 cases in Mozambique, corresponding to prevalence rates of 21.5 cases per 1000 (95% CI, 16.8 to 26.2) and 30.4 cases per 1000 (95% CI, 23.2 to 37.6), respectively. The mitral valve was involved in the great majority of cases (87.3% in Cambodia and 98.4% in Mozambique). Systematic screening with echocardiography, as compared with clinical screening, reveals a much higher prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (approximately 10 times as great). Since rheumatic heart disease frequently has devastating clinical consequences and secondary prevention may be effective after accurate identification of early cases, these results have important public health implications. Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Global, Regional, and National Burden of Rheumatic Heart Disease, 1990-2015.

            Rheumatic heart disease remains an important preventable cause of cardiovascular death and disability, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries. We estimated global, regional, and national trends in the prevalence of and mortality due to rheumatic heart disease as part of the 2015 Global Burden of Disease study.
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              Characteristics, complications, and gaps in evidence-based interventions in rheumatic heart disease: the Global Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry (the REMEDY study).

              Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) accounts for over a million premature deaths annually; however, there is little contemporary information on presentation, complications, and treatment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Heart Asia
                Heart Asia
                BMJ
                1759-1104
                June 24 2019
                June 2019
                June 24 2019
                June 2019
                : 11
                : 2
                : e011233
                Article
                10.1136/heartasia-2019-011233
                © 2019

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