How is Sydenham’s Chorea diagnosed?

The diagnosis of Sydenham’s Chorea may be made as a result of a review of the story of the child’s symptoms and a physical examination by a General Practitioner (GP), a Paediatrician or at an Accident and Emergency department. There is no definite test for Sydenham’s Chorea, but tests may be important to rule out other conditions that might be suspected in some cases. The diagnosis may be supported by a blood sample or throat swab looking for signs of Streptococcal infection.

Once the diagnosis has been suspected, a child may be referred to a specialist Paediatric doctor called a Neurologist who will further assess by asking questions and physically examining them, before confirming a clinical diagnosis of Sydenham’s Chorea. Sometimes a child may need to go for an MRI scan to rule out other conditions, but this is not always necessary.

Depending on a child’s condition, the Neurologist may refer on to other professionals, including:

  • Cardiologist
  • Community Paediatrician
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Liaison CAMHS, Neuro-Psychiatry Service
  • Physiotherapist / Occupational Therapist / Speech & Language Therapist
  • Rheumatologist
  • School Nurse
  • Specialist Nurse