Episode 65 – Taking Things to Heart

In this episode, The Curious Clinicians took things to heart and unpacked both why rheumatic heart disease so often involves heart valves, and why the mitral valve is by far the most commonly affected. See below for our take home points and other episode information!

Take Home Points

  1. Rheumatic heart disease involving cardiac valves results from molecular mimicry between group A strep M protein and glucosamine and antigens present on heart valves, including laminin and glycoproteins.
  2. Another purported mechanism involves M-protein binding to collagen on valves and eliciting antibody responses and immune-mediated valve injury.
  3. The mitral valve is most often affected, and this may be due to increased transvalvular pressure gradients across the valve leading to higher shear stress, more initial valvular damage, increased exposure of valvular antigens and more valvulitis.


Click here to obtain AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (0.5 hours), Non-Physician Attendance (0.5 hours), or ABIM MOC Part 2 (0.5 hours).

Listen to the episode


Credits & Citation

Episode written by Avraham Cooper

Audio edited by Clair Morgan of nodderly.com

Episode citation: Abrams HR, Cooper AZ, Breu AC. Taking Things to Heart. The Curious Clinicians Podcast. February 22, 2023.

This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp! You can give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/CLINICIANS.

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