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Sydenham's chorea: not gone but perhaps forgotten
  1. Miranda Crealey1,
  2. Nicholas M Allen1,
  3. David Webb2,
  4. Anthony Bouldin2,
  5. Niamh Mc Sweeney3,
  6. Deirdre Peake4,
  7. Sandya Tirupathi4,
  8. Karina Butler5,
  9. Mary D King1,6
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Neurology, Temple St. Children's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Neurology, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin Ireland
  3. 3Department of Paediatric Neurology, Cork University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4Department of Paediatric Neurology, Royal Children's Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  5. 5Department of Paediatric Infectious Disease, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland
  6. 6Academic Centre on Rare Diseases, School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Miranda Crealey, Department of Paediatric Neurology, Temple St Children's University Hospital, Dublin 1, Ireland; mirandac{at}


Sydenham's chorea (SC) is characterised by chorea, emotional lability and hypotonia. In this study, we investigated the incidence and clinical presentation of childhood SC in Ireland (years 2006–2014). Nineteen cases were diagnosed. Five patients had rheumatic fever. An increasing trend with an incidence of 0.23/100 000 is reported. As most referral diagnoses included psychogenic illness, head injury and stroke, modern physicians may not be aware of this age old illness. A review of the manifestations and diagnosis of SC is presented.

  • movement disorder
  • rheumatic fever
  • group A streptococcus
  • carditis
  • hyperkinetic

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