Severity of rheumatic heart disease is recorded at the time of diagnosis

Severity is collected at the time of diagnosis and can be categorised as severe, moderate, mild, or borderline, as determined by a specialist. Table 3.2 lists the definitions of each status. In reports published prior to 2023, severity and priority were combined to reflect the patient’s current status and that was called severity. As such, previous reports do not have comparable data related to severity. Borderline rheumatic heart disease (RHD) data were not available from all registers for this report.

Table 3.2: Definitions of RHD severity status

Severity status



Severe valvular disease

Or moderate/severe valvular lesions with symptoms

Or mechanical prosthetic valves; tissue prosthetic valves & valve repairs including balloon valvuloplasty


Any moderate heart valve damage without symptoms, and with normal left ventricle function.


ARF with no evidence of RHD

Or trivial to mild valvular disease


Individual ages equal to or less than 20 years at diagnosis

And at least one of the following:

  • At least 2 morphological features of RHD of the MV without pathological MR or MS
  • Pathological MR
  • Pathological AR

ARF only/No RHD

ARF with no evidence of RHD

AR = Aortic regurgitation
LA = left atrium
LV = left ventricle
MS = mitral stenosis
MR = Mitral regurgitation
MV = mitral valve

In 2022, of the 211 First Nations people with severity recorded at a new RHD diagnosis in Qld, WA, SA or NT: