The Global Burden of Rheumatic Heart Disease

From Carapetis, J.R> et al. (2015) Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease
NATURE Review Dis. Primers doi: 10.1038/nrdp.2015.84

70 – 100 million

Up to 15 million patients with RHD
may need Heart Valve surgery

Explaining the Problem

Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) is a most under-appreciated deadly disease affecting 70-100 million people worldwide. In 2017 the WHO declared it to be a global health threat. RHD is a preventable condition triggered by streptococcal bacteria. This bacterium is responsible for a common throat infection known as ‘Strep Throat’. When left untreated, a patient’s immune system can turn against his own heart while fighting the infection. This leads to an acute inflammation of the heart and the heart valves accompanied by fever (Acute Rheumatic Fever).

Rheumatic Fever primarily affects poor, young people
between the age of 5 and 15.

It is often followed by chronic RHD that irreversibly damages the patient’s heart valves. Once patients become symptomatic, open heart surgery is currently the only life-saving treatment. In order to provide heart valve surgery to all patients in need, Low- to Middle-Income Countries would require >5,000 new heart centers.

Without sufficient access to cardiac surgery,
millions of RHD patients are doomed to die prematurely.

Our Solution

While Heart Centers capable of open heart surgery are a scarcity in most regions with a high prevalence of RHD, the number of Regional Hospitals with good general surgical skills has been continually increasing over the past decades. The potential role of such hospitals in expanding cardiac care is widely accepted.

The SAT solutions eliminate the requirement for open-heart surgery, reducing the need for sophisticated infrastructure and specialist skills. They greatly expand the capacity of existing cardiac facilities and enable the utilization of general surgical operating facilities for heart valve interventions.


SAT’s solutions are tailor-made for these patients by also catering for compliant, non-calcified valves and introducing leaflet materials with significantly extended longevity.