We have conducted, in two stages, a descriptive and comparative analysis of the diagnostic and evolutionary clinical aspects of rheumatic fever. The descriptive analysis was based on a sample of 226 patients seen between 1976–1986. The forms and frequency of the manifestations of rheumatic fever were studied, as well as the difficulties encountered in diagnosing mild cases and the risk of making a hasty diagnosis due to the high prevalence of the disease. Subsequent to the establishment of an outpatient clinic for referral of patients with rheumatic fever, as part of a study and control program for the disease, 98 patients were seen in the period 1988–1991. In order to compare the profile of the manifestations in the acute phase with evolutionary aspects over the course of the disease, a subgroup of 61 children, treated in the period 1983–986 was selected to obtain equivalence in size of sample and time of follow-up (p = 0.08). The comparative analysis revealed that no modifications have occurred over the period of study in the profile of the manifestations during the acute phase, and no statistically significant differences have occurred in age at first attack, severity ofcarditis, or in the type ofvalvar and articular involvement. Evolutionary data after rigid control of primary and secondary prevention, however, showed a marked reduction in the incidence of recurrence (p = 0.036), the frequency of hospital admission (p = 0.001) and deaths (p = 0.024). The main factors modifying the evolution of the disease were analyzed. The action of the health team had a fundamental importance in the control of recurrence. This fact is especially important for developing countries, where a reduction of the prevalence of the disease can only be achieved through major structural socioeconomic changes in the community.