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    ABSTRACT: Autoimmunity and dysautonomia are established features of Chagas disease (ChD) that could be related to its pathogenesis. Our objective was to assess heart rate variability (HRV) and levels of anti-M2 receptors autoantibodies in ChD patients with and without left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, in order to establish if these abnormalities occur early and concomitantly in the course of the illness. ChD patients (n=75) and healthy controls (n=14) underwent a standardized protocol including Doppler echocardiogram, Holter monitoring, HRV analysis, and measurement of anti-M2 receptors autoantibodies (ELISA). ChD patients were divided accordingly by the absence (group 1, n=45) or presence (group 2, n=30) of LV dysfunction, defined as reduced LV ejection fraction (<55%) or regional wall motion abnormalities (including ventricular aneurysm). Both ChD groups displayed increased optical density values of anti-M2 cholinergic autoantibodies (Median (IQR): control=1.98(0.51); ChD 1=2.76(0.97); ChD 2=2.72(1.34), p<.001) and reduced HF power of spectral analysis of HRV when compared to controls (Median (IQR) in ms2: control=1087(2284); ChD 1=286(763); ChD 2=285(763), p<.001). M2 levels were significantly correlated with HF power values (r=-0.32, p=0.023), but not with LV ejection fraction. Anti-muscarinic autoantibodies and abnormal vagal modulation occur early in ChD patients, independently of the presence of LV dysfunction. Levels of antibodies against M2 muscarinic receptors were significantly and negatively correlated with HRV index HF power, suggesting an inhibitory effect of autoantibodies in vagal function.
    International journal of cardiology 04/2007; 117(1):59-63. DOI:10.1016/j.ijcard.2006.04.053 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, infects nearly 18 million people in Latin America and mainly affects the heart, causing heart failure, arrhythmias, heart block, thromboembolism, stroke and death. In this review, the clinical diagnosis and management of Chagas cardiomyopathy are discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on the clinical staging of patients and the use of various diagnostic tests that may be useful in individualizing treatment of the two most relevant clinical syndromes, that is, heart failure and arrhythmias. The relevance of specific treatments are discussed, stressing the important role of parasite persistence in disease pathogenesis. We also discuss new therapy modalities that may have a role in the treatment of Chagas cardiomyopathy.
    Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 09/2007; 5(4):727-43. DOI:10.1586/14787210.5.4.727 · 3.46 Impact Factor

  • Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia 01/2010; 95(1). DOI:10.1590/S0066-782X2010005000064 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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