Clinical aspects of the Chagas' heart disease

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
International journal of cardiology (Impact Factor: 6.18). 03/2007; 115(3):279-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2006.03.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Chagas' heart disease, caused by protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is a common cause of cardiomyopathy in the Americas. Transmission of T. cruzi occurs through Reduviids, the kissing bugs. Less common ways of transmission are blood transfusion, congenital transmission, organ transplantation, laboratory accident, breastfeeding, and oral contamination. Infestation results in cardiac dysautonomia, myocardial apoptosis, and myocardial fibrosis. In acute phase, death is mostly caused by myocarditis and in chronic phase, it is mostly by irreversible cardiomyopathy. A majority of the patients with Chagas' disease remain in the latent phase of disease for 10 to 30 years or even for life. Specific anti-Chagas' therapy with trypanocide drugs is useful in acute phase but the management of chronic Chagas' heart disease is mostly empirical. The mortality during the acute phase of cardiac Chagas is around 5%. Five-year mortality of chronic Chagas' disease with cardiac dysfunction is above 50%. The clinical aspects of the Chagas' heart disease are concisely reviewed.

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    Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia 12/2010; 97(2):01-48. DOI:10.1590/S0066-782X2011001600001 · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: American trypanosomiasis or Chagas disease continues to endanger the lives of many million people in Latin America, and through travel and population migration there is a risk of congenital cases in nonendemic settings. Substantial improvements in the transmission of the disease have been achieved through vector control and blood–bank screening. However, vector–borne transmission remains the main mode of acquisition of infection in many settings coupled with congenital transmission and food–borne and accidental exposure through transplantation or laboratory exposure. The main sites of affection include the heart and gastrointestinal tract. Antiparasitic treatment of indeterminate forms is successful in many cases by delaying the risk of progression of cardiomyopathy, but treatment of chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy remains mainly supportive. The BENEFIT trial that will be completed by late 2011 or early 2012 will provide evidence for or against treating chronic symptomatic forms. Control or eliminating Chagas disease transmission coupled with decreasing the associated burden of disease in Latin America will promote better health and social and economic development among the most impoverished populations in the region.
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis, prognosis and evaluation of death risk in Chagas cardiomyopathy still constitute a challenge due to the diversity of manifestations, which determine the importance of using echocardiography, tissue Doppler and biomarkers. To evaluate, within a systematic review, clinical and echocardiographic profiles of patients with chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy, which may be related to worse prognosis and major mortality risk. To perform the systematic review, we used Medline (via PubMed), LILACS and SciELO databases to identify 82 articles published from 1991 to 2012, with the following descriptors: echocardiography, mortality and Chagas disease. We selected 31 original articles, involving diagnostic and prognostic methods. The importance of Chagas disease has increased due to its emergence in Europe and United States, but most evidence came from Brazil. Among the predictors of worse prognosis and higher mortality risk are morphological and functional alterations in the left and right ventricles, evaluated by conventional echocardiography and tissue Doppler, as well as the increase in brain natriuretic peptide and troponin I concentrations. Recently, the evaluations of dyssynchrony, dysautonomia, as well as strain, strain rate and myocardial twisting were added to the diagnostic arsenal for the early differentiation of Chagas cardiomyopathy. Developments in imaging and biochemical diagnostic procedures have enabled more detailed cardiac evaluations, which demonstrate the early involvement of both ventricles, allowing a more accurate assessment of the mortality risk in Chagas disease.
    Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia 07/2014; 102(6):602-610. DOI:10.5935/abc.20140068 · 1.12 Impact Factor